What to do when someone is suffering from heat cramps

I teach at a middle school in the southeast region of the country! My classroom is located near the athletic trainer’s office, so we often chat about weird situations students go through that require his care.

We always 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 serious 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 water breaks and then take them in the air conditioned building if needed. This recognizable student was treated by the athletic trainer for heat cramps, the heat cramps are involuntary muscle contractions that can be seriously painful. Heat cramps are caused by dehydration and loss of fluids due to a hot environment. The athletic trainer told me that when the student was suffering from heat cramps, he immediately removed him from the hot field and put him in the air conditioned training room. He gave the athlete fluids, and stretched his leg which was cramping. He also gave the athlete 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 get used to weather conditions to the temperature here, which is not easy when it feels like the central heat is on outside.