How to Prevent Heat-Related Illnesses & Death with Athletic Heat Stress Monitoring
Athletic heat stress monitoring is an invaluable tool for saving lives. While at-risk demographics include young children or adults 65 or older, heat-related illness can happen to anyone - even athletes who in prime physical condition.
Heat stroke is one of the 3 leading causes of sudden death during exercise. Survival rate for heat stroke is very high if immediate treatment is received, but preventing heat-related illnesses is the best approach to saving lives.
Understanding Wet Bulb Globe Temperature Monitoring
The recommended measurement to properly assess the risk of heat injury and illness is WBGT. Wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT) is a measurement that accounts for:
- Ambient temperature
- Relative humidity
- Solar radiation
These measurements are used to dictate modifications in physical activity, including work, rest, hydration breaks, length of physical activity, etc.
These guidelines are set in place to keep athletes safe and prevent overheating during exercise, which can lead to heat exhaustion, heat cramps, sunburn, and even heat stroke.
This is an example guideline chart from the Georgia High School Athletics Association. With most heat-related deaths of high school athletes happening in the month of August, it’s vital to have an athletic heat monitoring device on hand.
Using Kestrel to Prevent Heat Illnesses
Athletic heat stress monitoring accurately measures environmental heat stress that may put athletes at risk during activity.
The Kestrel heat stress line offers rugged and highly accurate devices for monitoring and recording environmental conditions.
The #1 recommended WBGT monitoring tool is the Kestrel 5400 Heat Stress Tracker Pro. It’s the next generation heat stress device that offers an array of conveniences with exceedingly accurate readings, giving both athletes and coaches reliable information to make safe decisions.
The device is handheld, portable, and does not require the use of distilled water for usage. Simply holding the athletic heat monitoring device in the desired area is enough to get an immediate reading.
Built-in Warning System for Dangerous Heat
When conditions are unsafe for training, the Kestrel 5400 Heat Stress Tracker Pro will sound with a loud buzzer. There is also a bright LED beacon and on-screen warnings that instantly alert users of dangerous training environments.
This chart from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention shows the signs and symptoms of potential heat injuries and illnesses.
|WBGT READING||ACTIVITY GUIDELINES & REST BREAK GUIDLINES|
|Under 82.0||Normal activities - Provide at least three separate rest breaks each hour of minimum duration of 3 minutes each during workout|
|82.0 - 86.9||Use discretion for intense or prolonged exercise; watch at-risk players carefully; Provide at least three separate rest breaks each hour of a minimum of four minutes duration each|
|87.0 - 89.9||Maximum practice time is two hours. For football: Players restricted to helmet, shoulder pads, and shorts during practice. All protective equipment must be removed for conditioning activities. For all sports: Provide at least four separate rest breaks each hour of a minimum of four minutes each|
|90.0 - 92.0||Maximum length of practice is one hour, no protective equipment may be worn during practice and there may be no conditioning activities. There must be 20 minutes of rest breaks provided during the hour of practice|
|Over 92.1||No outdoor workouts. Cancel exercise; delay practices until a cooler WBGT reading occurs|