Weekly Health Watch with why coaches, athletes and nurses need to be trained on heat-related illness, West Nile Virus reports in Europe, the importance of folate for pregnant women and more.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourages coaches, athletes and those exercising outside in hot weather to know the warning signs for heat-related illness and take action when needed.
“Any athlete dying from heat is a tragedy that can be prevented,” said CDC’s Dr. Robin Ikeda, deputy director for noncommunicable diseases, injury and environmental health. “Coaches, parents, teachers and athletes should educate themselves on how to recognize and prevent heat-related illness.”
CDC estimates that, each year, there are almost 6,000 emergency department visits for sports and recreation heat illnesses. The most common activities leading to hospital visits are football and exercises, such as walking, jogging, running and calisthenics.
Here are ways to protect yourself from heat-related illness:
Stop all activity and get to a cool environment if you feel faint or weak.
Limit outdoor activity, especially midday when the sun is hottest.
Schedule workouts and practices earlier or later in the day when the temperature is cooler.
Pace your activity. Start slow and pick up the pace gradually.
Drink more water than usual, and don’t wait until you′re thirsty to drink more.
Have a workout partner, and monitor each other’s condition.
Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
Seek medical care immediately if you or a teammate has symptoms of heat-related illness.
Coaches, school nurses and athletic trainers can learn more about how to protect the athletes in their care by taking CDC′s accredited Web–based course on how to recognize, treat and prevent heat–related illness.
New Research: West Nile Virus reported in Europe
Confirmed cases of West Nile Virus infection have been reported in a number of European countries. From the beginning of July to Aug. 11, infections have officially been reported in Albania (2 cases), Greece (22 cases), Israel (6 cases), Romania (1 case) and the Russian Federation (11 cases). The reporting reflects higher awareness among healthcare workers, enhanced laboratory capacities and rainfall and high temperatures, which led a substantial increase in mosquitoes.
-- World Health Organization
Did You Know?
The average Medicare prescription drug premium is about $30, and the cost will not increase in 2012. -- Department of Health and Human Services
Health Tip: Pregnancy calls for folate
Folate, or folic acid, is an essential nutrient for pregnant women or those who are trying to conceive. Folate helps develop the neural tube, which becomes the baby’s spinal cord and brain. Folate-rich foods include citrus fruits and juices, dark green leafy vegetables, nuts and liver. Pregnant women should consume 600 micrograms of folatea day, whether from a vitamin supplement or food.
Number to Know
50 percent: New data indicate that smoking is responsible for about 50 percent of female bladder cancer cases, which is similar to the proportion found in men. The increase in the proportion of smoking-attributable bladder cancer cases among women may be a result of the increased prevalence of smoking by women, so that men and women are about equally likely to smoke.
-- National Institutes of Health
Children’s Health: Autism risk among siblings
About 1 in 110 U.S. children have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, and children who have an older sibling diagnosed with ASD are more likely to receive a diagnosis. The risk of recurrence among siblings is substantially higher than previously thought by researchers. Although past studies estimated the ASD recurrence risk between 3 percent and 10 percent, a more recent study found the overall risk was 18.7 percent and even higher in families with more than one affected sibling (approximately 32 percent). Male infants experienced nearly three times the risk of female infants at 26 percent versus 9 percent.
-- American Academy of Pediatrics
Senior Health: Staying active and safe
Here are a few ways to ensure that you (or the ones you love) stay healthy, active and safe:
Ensure help is a call away. Cell phones are not just for social uses. They are a valuable emergency response tool, too.
Boost your activity levels. This doesn't mean running a marathon, but it does mean getting your body moving. Walking, playing golf or any other enjoyable activity that boosts your heart rate is a step in the right direction.
Keep your mind moving. Cognitive performance levels drop earlier in countries that have younger retirement age, according to a study published by the RAND Center for the Study of Aging and the University of Michigan. Keep your brain busy by engaging in activities that combine social, physical and intellectual stimulation.
GateHouse News Service