MEMPHIS, Tenn — Dr. Katherine Allan, a physician at St. Francis Hospital, spoke to ABC24 about concussion awareness and staying safe from the heat during outdoor sports.
If you are outside in Memphis's hot temperatures, you should take frequent breaks and stay hydrated, according to Allan. Those playing sports should be mindful of heat-related illnesses and concussion prevention.
“Players need to be hydrated before, during and after practice and games," Allan said. "They need to wear light-colored, lightweight clothing."
Allan said coaches should be looking for complaints of thirst, muscle cramps, disorientation and dizziness.
"If they start complaining of headaches, vision changes, disorientation, they may have had a head injury. They may be suffering from heat exhaustion. So, pay attention to the mildest complaints," she said.
According to Allan, many concussions go undiagnosed and unreported. She said light sensitivity, confusion, disorientation or "just not acting right" are signs someone might have a concussion.
“People think it’s just football players who can suffer concussion. But it’s truly any contact sport, lacrosse players, soccer players. They can suffer concussions as well," she said.
Allan said not to be fooled by the temperature. Even if the temperature is not at an extreme high, if there is very high humidity, the humidity can cause heat exhaustion, which can lead to heat stroke, organ damage and death.
“Parents, if your children are playing outdoor sports, football, soccer, please remind them to stay hydrated. They need to stay safe to be safe," she said.