Over half of athletes not aware of overheating risks: Red Cross

Marathon runners
Marathon runnersPhoto: lzf/DepositPhotos

More than half of athletes in the Netherlands are not aware of the risks of overheating - they do not adjust their training programs in warm weather and think that overheating can't happen to them, the Red Cross reports based on its own research. While athletes know that overheating is possible, they don't know that it can also happen at lower temperatures, NOS reports.

Overheating can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which can sometimes result in death. A heat stroke occurs if the heartbeat and body temperature are too high for too long. Athletes who experience overheating must stop exercising immediately, find a way to cool down, and seek medical assistance, according to the Red Cross.

The Red Cross study found that 60 percent of Dutch do not know what to do if they have to help an overheating athlete. Almost half of the respondents said that they don't know whether they would recognize the symptoms of overheating. Athletes themselves also do not always recognize these symptoms, according to the aid organization.

Symptoms of overheating include a throbbing headache, difficulty concentrating, muscle cramps, exhaustion, and excessive sweating. In more severe cases, the person can look pale, have difficulty breathing, stop sweating, and lose consciousness.