It’s game day in the UWA Tiger Stadium and the temperature is pushing 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat is getting to the crowd as well as the UWA Scarlet Band. As many people know, more than 30 fans had to be treated for overheating, some in the Scarlet Band. Most were treated by the university’s staff, although a few individuals were transported to hospitals where they were discharged with no serious medical issues.

This development highlights the importance of noticing the signs of dehydration, which can lead to heat exhaustion, and how to prevent it.

The signs of heat exhaustion are cool and clammy skin, profuse sweating, loss of concentration, dizziness, and stomach cramps often accompanied by nausea. Most of these signs can be determined by an average person with no training.

There are many ways to prevent such a thing from happening to you in the first place. Drink plenty of water before, during and after you are active. Bring a container of water or a sports drink whenever you are outdoors for longer than one hour. Sports drinks in particular will allow you to hydrate and replenish lost minerals as well. Do not consume drinks with caffeine in them as they increase the rate of dehydration. Finally, if you should feel dizzy, light-headed or exhausted, stop all physical activity and find a shaded spot and rehydrate with your water or sports drink.

If you or someone you know should begin to experience the aforementioned symptoms of dehydration, there are several helpful tips to remedy the situation. First, take bags of ice and place them under the armpits, abdomen, and/or thighs, as this is where most of the central body heat is located. Second, keep the person supplied with a constant supply of water and air. Finally, contact a trained professional or call 911. Keep in mind that there are more effective methods but they should only be performed by medically trained professionals.

These are the steps to avoid heat exhaustion/dehydration and what you should do if you encounter someone experiencing these symptoms. Make sure to stay hydrated as you venture outside to participate in sports or to run the pounds off. Even with summer coming to a close and the temperature starting to drop, this is still something that could happen to anyone at any time so please remember to be careful while exercising or playing outside.

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