Protect young athletes from heat injuries

Beware of heat-related injuries for young athletes

It's that time during the summer when middle and high school football practices have started back up which means young athletes are at a significantly higher risk for injuries.

Dr. Deanna Lutz of Piedmont Medical Center, stopped by WBTV News Sunday Morning to talk about the risks involved with sports training in the heat.

She says extensive physical activity in extreme heat may cause an ailment called rhabdomyolysis, rhabdo for short. Rhabdo came become apparent with muscle pain. This can be tricky because one may think the muscle pain is due to their physical activity and take pain relievers. With youth participating in outdoor sporting activities, it's important for coaches to be familiar with symptoms of rhabdo.

The following are common signs and symptoms of rhabdomyolysis:

Muscle pain, especially in the shoulders, thighs or lower back

Muscle weakness or trouble moving arms or legs

Abdominal pain

Nausea or vomiting

Fever, rapid heart rate

Confusion, dehydration, fever, or lack of consciousness

If you have rhabdomyolysis, you will be admitted to the hospital to receive treatment for the cause. Treatment with intravenous (IV) fluids helps maintain urine production and prevent kidney failure. Rarely, dialysis treatment may be needed to help your kidneys filter waste products while they are recovering. Management of electrolyte abnormalities (potassium, calcium and phosphorus) helps protect your heart and other organs. You may also need a surgical procedure (fasciotomy) to relieve tension or pressure and loss of circulation if compartment syndrome threatens muscle death or nerve damage. In some cases, you may need to be in the intensive care unit (ICU) to allow close monitoring.