Heat stroke and how to avoid it

Thomas Grogan, MD, shares advice for parents on the best ways to prevent your children from getting heat stroke and explains what the symptoms of heat stroke are
How To Prevent Your Child Or Athlete From Getting Heat Stroke
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Heat stroke and how to avoid it

During athletic activity, the body releases heat. And one of the questions is, “How do I prevent my child or athlete from being injured by heating, or overheating?” And what really happens physiologically is the muscles – if they get to a certain point – start to misfire. They start to malfunction. They start to release heat. And if they release too much heat without being cooled by water, the body actually shuts down. So the first symptom of heat exhaustion are cramps – muscles go into spasm. The natural physiologic way the body treats heating is to sweat. Sweating allows water to evaporate off our skin, which cools the skin. Once you get to a certain point, however, with heat and heat exhaustion, the body stops sweating. That’s when it gets dangerous. As a body stops sweating, our mechanism to cool down shuts down and that can lead to damage, especially to sensitive organs such as the brain. The real simple solution is water or fluid. As it turns out, it really doesn’t matter whether you drink an electrolyte solution or vitamin water solution or just plain water – volume is the answer. And this is particularly important in athletes, especially when they play on cool or clammy evenings. Especially when it comes to sports like football, where they carry lots of equipment. On those cool evenings, they really don’t feel hot, they don’t feel like they need to drink. As it turns out that’s when it gets dangerous. So I always tell my athletes when they ask me, “How much water should I drink?” or “How much volume should I drink?” The answer is, “You should feel that you still have to go to the bathroom, you still have to urinate in the middle of a game.” And if you do that, you know you’re having enough fluid. If not, drink more fluids. It’s a very simple and easy way to prevent injury.

Thomas Grogan, MD, shares advice for parents on the best ways to prevent your children from getting heat stroke and explains what the symptoms of heat stroke are


Expert Bio

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Thomas Grogan, MD

Orthopedic Surgeon

Dr. Grogan is a practicing pediatric orthopedist in Santa Monica, California. He has seen over 40,000 patients in his practice alone. Dr. Grogan graduated cum laude from Princeton University with a degree in Biology and received his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.  Dr. Grogan’s orthopedic training has included an orthopedic residency at UCLA plus several orthopedic fellowships in pediatric orthopedics, trauma, and NIH sponsored joint replacement surgery. Following his orthopedic training he returned to Los Angeles, spending six years at Shriner’s Hospital for Crippled Children, including serving as Assistant Chief in 1996 and 1997. In addition to his clinical practice, he spent several years involved in managed care consulting as an orthopedic surgeon and has developed special expertise in this area. He has collaborated with the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons in the development of a handbook and audiotape entitled, Health Care Reform and Managed Care: A Guidebook for Orthopedic Surgeons. In addition, he has served as the lead faculty member for the AAOS for their 1995, 12 city educational seminar, “Taking Charge: Managed Care Contracting for Orthopaedic Surgeons” and as a faculty member for the AAOS’s 1996 seminar series entitled, “Winning at Risk: The Interplay of Cost, Quality, and Access in Orthopaedic Practice”.  He most recently served as a faculty member for the AAOS’s 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 seminars, “Practice Management Symposium for Practicing Orthopaedic Surgeons’. He is currently chairman of the Practice Management Committee for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and a member of their Council on Education. He is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha, Honor Medical Society, the Sigma XI Scientific Research Society, California Orthopaedic Association (COA), the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA), the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), and is a diplomate of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery.

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