I teach at a high university in the southeast region of the country, my classroom is located near the athletic trainer’s office, so we often chat about different situations students go through that require his care.
- We regularly leave the student’s names out to protect their medical privacy, but it is interesting to hear the different treatments our athletic trainer gives to students.
We recently talked about a student who moved from the northeast region of the country to our area. This student joined our football team. The football team practices outside in the drastic heat and humidity. This may sound unsafe, but most students are born and raised here so they are used to the heat. The football coaches ensure that students get satisfactory water breaks and then take them in the air conditioned building if needed. This certain student was treated by the athletic trainer for heat cramps. Heat cramps are involuntary muscle contractions that can be seriously painful. Heat cramps are caused by dehydration and loss of fluids due to an overheated environment. The athletic trainer told me that when the student was suffering from heat cramps, he immediately removed him from the overheated field and put him in the air conditioned training room. He provided the athlete fluids, and stretched his leg which was cramping. He also provided the athlete with salty foods to eat while he was cooling down in the air conditioned room. To prevent heat cramps in the future,the athlete will need to slowly acclimate to the temperature here, which is not simple when it feels like the central heat is on outside.