Heat in Fall Football, and the Infallible, Young Athlete

Heat in Fall Football, and the Infallible, Young Athlete 0

Between 1980 and 2015 there were 44 heat-related deaths of athletes in
pre-season football practice, alone. The last two occurred in 2015 in
Indianapolis, Indiana and Brownsville, Tennessee. With the adoption and
growing implementation across the U.S. of the National Athletic Trainer’s
Association heat acclimatization guidelines of 2009, there were no deaths in
2016. However, there are no statistics for those who experienced heat
stroke and lived, and no statistics for those who were close to heat stroke
before cooling down. Coaches should be aware that following the guidelines
alone will not prevent all of their young athletes from experiencing heat
stroke or heat exhaustion.

Heat illness problems with young athletes, especially in fall football practice,
are multifaceted, but they can be broken down into the following: 1) Young
athletes not conditioned to the heat. 2) Athletes who have lost physical
conditioning over the summer, which may or may not include a weight gain,
which also adds to exertional heat stress (EHS). 3) Young players coming out
for football for the first time who have never been through any physical
conditioning before their first football practice. 4) Fall football practices
occurring in one of the hottest months of the summer, especially in the south
where higher humidity increases heat stress conditions. 5) Dehydration. It is
especially important for the young athlete to stay hydrated throughout
exercise and not to wait until a feeling of being thirsty is evident before
taking a hydration break. 6) Last, but of greater importance in young
athletes as opposed to older, professional athletes, is the young athlete’s
natural feeling of infallibility.

Medical science has proven that the ability to reason in the human brain is
not fully developed until the early twenties. For the young athlete wanting to
prove himself to his teammates and coaches, this means he may wait until
he is in serious physical trouble before notifying anyone of his physical
problems or in not notifying anyone.

Young athletes often dismiss the heat illness symptoms they are
experiencing because they believe they are physically strong enough to keep
going without any major consequences. It is this feeling of infallibility that
can get a young athlete into trouble before anyone recognizes there is a
problem. In the heat stroke death cases of many young football players, the
athlete simply collapsed before anyone became aware that there was a
problem. The symptoms of heat stress, followed by heat exhaustion, were
most certainly evident to the athlete, but not acted upon. The athlete’s body
was screaming that he was in trouble, but he pushed on until his body could
no longer handle the heat, and a heat stroke occurred.

Individual athlete physical evaluation is one of the major reasons it is so
important for coaches to have training in recognizing the signs and
symptoms of heat stress, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. Coaches monitor
the development of skills and the physical conditioning of each athlete so
they should be aware of physical and mental changes in each athlete. Even
when athletic trainers are present, the responsibility falls to the coaches.
Individual evaluation is also why it is important to teach every athlete to
recognize heat illness symptoms. Each athlete is in a position to recognize
changes in teammates as well as in himself.

When it comes to young athletes who feel infallible, having a teammate intervene when serious heat illness is recognized, allows an outside observer to override the infallibility complex.  When the athlete himself ignores the serious messages from his body and keeps it hidden from his coaches, his teammates become the last line of
defense in the prevention of heat stroke. They are training next to each
other, interacting with each other, and, if they know what to look for, they
should notice serious physical and mental changes in each other. If the
athlete in heat trouble does not remove himself from training to cool down,
any teammate should be able to notify a coach or trainer that he suspects a
serious heat illness problem, and he should be able to do so without negative
consequences when he breaks away to share his observation against the
wishes of his teammate.

Uninterrupted physical exertion in hot, humid weather can quickly escalate
heat stress to heat stroke. The human body will continue to heat up after
activity is stopped because it is working hard to rid itself of heat. The only
way to stop the increasing heat is to immediately start the body cooling down
through any means possible. Waiting for professional medical help is NOT an
option. The prevention and treatment for heat stroke are the same, “COOL

Coaches should recognize that educating the coaching staff in the symptoms
and treatment of heat illnesses and following acclimatization guidelines is
not enough. Educating every athlete in the symptoms of heat exhaustion and
heat stroke, and an assurance that removing oneself from the activity and
cooling down when the symptoms occur, is not a sign of weakness. It is
actually the first line of defense.

Once it is determined that the athlete needs to cool down, simply resting in
the shade is not enough. Cold, in some form, should be applied to the
athlete’s body to immediately bring the body’s temperature down. Use
whatever is available - dousing with cold water, ice water towels, ice baths,
Cold Blankets, cold fluids. No team should be unprepared for heat stroke!
Being prepared means every coach AND athlete, as well as the trainers, are
educated in the signs, symptoms, and treatment of serious heat illnesses,
heat and humidity are monitored before every practice, acclimatization
guidelines are known and followed, and hydration AND cool down supplies
and equipment, as well as emergency medical contact information are
always readily available.

According to Dr. Douglas Casa of the Cory Springer Institute, “Nearly all of
the causes of death in sport are influenced by the care in the first 5 to 7
minutes.” This is especially true of heat stroke.

Having Cold Blankets onsite for immediate cool down could save lives. No team should be without them -

 Iris Floyd holds a B.S. degree in Health, Physical Education, and Recreation from Louisiana State University, and is a former athlete, teacher, and coach. Finding on- site solutions for treating overheated athletes has been a quest of hers for many years. She is also President & CEO of Comfort Innovations, LLC, an inventor, writer, published author. She can be reached at 225-766-7719 or

Understanding Heat in Work Environments 0

Understanding Heat in Work Environments

There are three types of hot work environments: 1) weather dependent - outdoor or indoor environments affected by the weather, 2) non-weather dependent - those environments due to the nature or place of the work to be performed, and 3) a combination of both - when the non-weather dependent environment becomes part of the weather dependent environment.

            The hot work environment is only one contributing factor leading to heat illnesses in healthy workers.  The degree of physical effort and dehydration are also two major contributing factors to heat related illnesses.

 Weather Dependent Hot Work Environments

             Heat, humidity, and direct sunlight contact are three factors presented by Mother Nature that are beyond human control. It is not enough to understand the significance of hot temperatures on the worker, one must also consider the humidity and the increase in overall temperatures when work is done in direct sunlight. The human body can withstand higher temperatures when humidity is low because body sweat evaporates quickly to cool the body. As humidity goes up, the air becomes less absorbent, and the ability of the body to cool itself through sweat evaporation, decreases.  Any person working in hot weather when humidity is high is at a higher risk for developing a heat illness than when humidity is low. 


             Link to the National Weather Service Heat Index Calculator and find the heat index for the specific temperature and humidity for any weather related work environment at any time:

             The temperatures in the heat index chart above are “air” temperatures, which are taken in the “shade“. Direct sunlight contact will raise the temperature index by as much as 15F. Just as direct sunlight contact with innate surfaces raises those surface temperatures, it raises the temperature of the human body. For example, the surface of a black car in direct sunlight will be hotter than the surface of a white car in direct sunlight, and both will be hotter than the temperature of the air. Just as surface heat is transferred to the inside of each car, the heat of direct sunlight on the surface of the human body is transferred through the skin to warm the body’s core. Also, as with the white car, the heat effect can be lessened with the use of light colored, lightweight clothing.

 Non-weather Dependent Hot Work Environments

             Non-weather dependent hot work environments are created by the heat generated and/or contained within the environment, or due to the task being performed, or both. These include places where heat-generating equipment is used, such as bakeries, foundries, etc., or wearing heavy, protective clothing that holds in heat, such as that worn by welders, hazmat crews, fire-fighters, and others.

             Hot work environments that are created by the nature of the job itself require frequent monitoring of the worker.  Take for example, a worker making repairs on a very large, hot, metal tank.  The radiant heat from the tank itself may literally pull moisture away from the worker’s body.  Because the worker’s clothes do not show significant signs of sweating, to others, the worker may not appear to be hot, when in fact, his body temperature may have risen to a dangerous level. Dehydration in this type of situation can also rapidly occur.

 Combination Hot Work Environments

            When the work to be performed creates a hot work environment, and this work is done in a hot weather environment, the chances of a worker developing a serious heat illness become greater. Take for example, hazmat crews working an outdoor chemical spill in full protective gear. Even with cooling vests worn under their suits, workers generally work on a 30-minute rotation, 30 minutes of work followed by 30 minutes of hydration and rest in a cool environment, usually an air-conditioned trailer or vehicle. This cooling time allows for full heat recovery before the next rotation begins. The hazmat suits create a closed, non-weather related work environment that heats up due to body heat and which is exacerbated by weather related heat. If the weather is very hot, shortened work periods may be required.

 Exertional Heat Stress

             The term “work environment” implies physical exertion. Physical exertion is required to perform any task. It is the degree to which it is required in performing the task that becomes a factor in heat illnesses. A desk clerk, even in a hot work environment, is not likely to be at risk of a serious heat illness. A laborer performing physical tasks in that same hot work environment would be at risk according to the degree of

his physical exertion. It is this physical exertion that introduces another factor in heat illnesses known as Exertional Heat Stress or EHS. 

             Even on a day when environmental temperatures are pleasant and humidity is low, a worker can become overheated from strenuous, physical work.  Just as in athletes, the duration of the physical effort also affects body heat. The greater the physical effort and the greater the duration of the physical effort, the greater the body heat generated. Add EHS to any type of hot work environment and additional monitoring for heat illnesses is required, especially if the work is in direct sunlight or humidity is also high.


            Dehydration is the loss of water from the body, which occurs mainly through urination and sweat. It almost always accompanies heat illnesses.

            The human body is around 70% water, with the brain being made up of 73% water.  As dehydration progresses, the brain loses the water it needs to function at its best.  As body heat rises, the body produces sweat for evaporation to cool itself. Too much sweating causes dehydration, which in turn lessens brain function, decreases the body’s ability to cool itself, lessens toxins removal, causes low levels of sodium, potassium, chloride and other needed minerals, and deleteriously effects other body functions.

            Staying hydrated only requires the worker to regularly drink cool fluids, preferably water and electrolyte replacing drinks. Hydration isn’t only easy, it is essential on all levels for keeping workers safe and efficient in their tasks.

Stopping Heat Stroke

            A hot environment, physical exertion, and dehydration can lead to heat illnesses that require immediate attention. Heat stroke is 100% preventable. Every employer and employee subject to a hot work environment should know the signs and symptoms of heat illnesses and know how to prevent and treat them.

             It is important to understand that heat stroke occurs when body temperature reaches 104F. Because the body can no longer adequately cool itself, the body temperature will very likely continue to rise, and without immediate intervention, death can occur shortly afterward. When heat stroke occurs, the first 10 minutes are critical for preventing brain and other organ damage, and death. Lowering the body temperature becomes essential for survival. The quicker the body temperature is lowered, the less likely damage to the brain and other body organs will occur.

             While hydration is also needed, if the person is in heat stroke, he or she may not be able to drink. Once the body temperature is down and the person can drink, start giving cold fluids.

             To get the person’s temperature down quickly, move the person away from the heat source. If in the sun, shade the person and immediately apply cold therapy. Cold therapy is any method of lowering body temperature by applying continuous cold to the body in any safe form - ice, ice water, cold water, cool water, cold blankets, cold packs, and vigorous fanning. In short, by whatever cooling application is available. Moving the person away from the heat source, shading, and waiting for emergency medical services to arrive is NOT an option to prevent or treat heat stroke. Cooling the person down is the only option to prevent and treat heat stroke.   

            Whenever heat stress has escalated to heat exhaustion, medical services should be called, and on-site cooling of the person should immediately begin. Heat Stroke can occur suddenly, without any symptoms of heat exhaustion. As previously stated, heat stroke is 100% preventable.  When a heat illness occurs on the work site, the single over-riding rule is “COOL DOWN and HYDRATE”.  Don't wait for medical services to begin cold therapy.  Doing so could result in death. If every employer and employee learned and executed “COOL DOWN and HYDRATE” by any means possible while waiting on medical services, heat stroke in the work place could be eliminated.

Heat Illness Symptoms:

 Heat Stress

  • Cramps in the hands, calves, feet, or stomach
  • Light headedness, dizziness


 Heat Exhaustion

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Thirst
  • Heavy sweating
  • Cool, moist skin, which may have goose bumps
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Profuse sweating
  • Muscle aches or cramps
  • Light headedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • Weakness
  • Confusion or anxiety
  • Shallow breathing
  • Slowed or weakened heartbeat
  • Irritability


 Heat Stroke

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Confusion, delirium
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Hot, dry skin
  • Flushed skin (reddened)
  • Excessive sweating
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Short, rapid breaths
  • Convulsions
  • High temperature (104F or higher)


COOL DOWN and HYDRATE!  Any delay could be fatal!



  • Bonnie Floyd
Heat And The Private Investigator!

Heat And The Private Investigator! 0

Anyone who has a car knows how hot it can get when left parked in the sun. All of us look for the shady spots whenever possible, but if you’re a private investigator, you choose the best spot for surveillance, in the shade or not.

PIs should use light colored vehicles with light interiors because dark vehicles get hotter than light vehicles….well, maybe not. It takes a little longer for cars with lighter interiors to heat up than it does for those with dark interiors, but they all heat up. Glass windows insulate the vehicle and hold heat inside the vehicle where the temperature can jump to above 120F in less than 10 minutes on a sunny, hot day anywhere, and can approach 200F in 30 minutes in the arid U.S. southwest. Now imagine you have to be in a vehicle for hours without anyone knowing you are there.

What are the options for PIs?

  • Tinted windows
  • Reflective windshield shades
  • Side window shades
  • Park in the shade whenever possible
  • Insulate the vehicle interior as much as possible.
  • Portable 12V fans
  • Wicking clothing
  • Seat cushions which allow air flow
  • An ice chest of cold water, frozen gel pads, and wet towels
  • A thermometer visible at all times

One amazing option for PIs is a 12V Go Cool, the only patented, portable, ice-water, air conditioner on the market! Go Cool dehumidifies, does not produce heat, does not need exhausting, and only pulls 1.6 amps! One private investigator liked it so much he permanently installed it into his vehicle.

The Best Portable Air Conditioner For Camping 0

Today we're discussing how our portable air conditioner makes your camping experience much more comfortable! While family camping tents offer a lot of screen mesh in doorways, windows, low vents and ceilings to take advantage of breezes and convection, family campers sometimes need assistance with the conditions inside the tent body. Campers who live in very warm, humid climates, such as the southeastern U.S. states, may realize that neither ventilation nor a fan will be enough to make the tent comfortable. The humidity in the air may be worse than the air temperature itself.

Fortunately, the GoCool portable air conditioner can make a family tent quite comfortable, even on a very warm, humid day. It is the only device that can transfer both heat and humidity out of the tent body! A GoCool portable, battery powered air conditioner is perfect for camping.

The Benefits Of Portable Air Conditioning 0

Comfort Innovations takes pride in it’s signature product, Go Cool, making it with quality parts and materials, and standing by its one year warranty. Our battery powered, portable air conditioner is the perfect boat or tent AC unit. We are the only original portable air conditioner with all others being impersonations. Go Cool allows you to unleash the power of ice and water so that you can dehumidify and cool the air. The best part? Power it by batteries, a nearby outlet, or with your vehicle!

Today we're exploring all the different ways that a portable air conditioner can benefit you. No Restrictions!  Many apartment buildings, HOA’s, and even city ordinances do not allow you to have a window air conditioner. The Go Cool portable air conditioners are a great alternative as they do not protrude from the outside of your home. Also, as their name suggests, they’re portable so it’s easy to relocate them from room to room. A Small Unit for a Small Space

Portable air conditioners are perfect if you live in a small space. Many people living in studio or one bedroom apartments find that they fit their needs perfectly. There’s also no permanent installation required so set up is extremely quick and easy. Cut Costs and Keep Cool! Portable air conditioners are being used for economic reasons as well. They are great supplements to central air conditioning systems, which can be very expensive to run when they’re working hard to cool your entire house.

Flat Rate Shipping for U.S. & Canada 0

We're happy to now offer Flat Rate shipping for all U.S. and Canadian Orders for a limited time!


  • Brad Floyd
  • Tags: Shipping