It’s getting chillier, and if you’re one of the Zydeco’s Southern runners, you may or may not be used to training in chillier temps. Although there’s little chance of degrees below 30, the days that may come will surprise you, and you’ll need to be prepared. For our runners in the north, you may be well prepped and aware, but these tips don’t hurt to hear again from our partners at Lafayette General Health and McLoed-Trahan-Sheffield Physical Therapy Services.

Prevention of Cold-Related injuries:

  • Perform thorough pre-participation screening to ID those more predisposed or have previous history.
  • Have medical care on site that are familiar with cold related injuries.
  • Educate athletes on prevention, recognition, treatment, and risks involved.
  • Encourage proper sleeping, nutrition, and rest breaks to athletes.
  • Develop event and practice guidelines for participating in cold conditions using wind chill factors.
  • Proper dress: Internal layer evaporates but not absorbs sweat, the middle layer insulates and the external layer should be water and wind resistant.
  • Provide athletes opportunities to rewarm or stay warm throughout practice/competition. Include warming supplies: water and rehydration, heat packs, blankets, heaters, and a warm tub if possible.

30˚ and below: Be aware of potential for cold injury
25˚ and below: provide additional clothing, cover as much as possible and facilitate rewarming.
15˚ and below: consider modifying activity to limit exposure
0˚ and below: Consider terminating or rescheduling activity

 

Recognition of Cold-Related Injuries:

Monitor closely and initiate gradual re-warming if any of these signs or symptoms are present:

  • Dry, waxy skin, edema, burning or tingling sensation, skin is white, gray, black or purple, blood blistering, itching skin, loss of sensation, increased temperature.
  • Vigorous shivering, pallor, nose bleeds.

Seek medical attention if any of these signs or symptoms are present:

  • Amnesia, depressed respiration, slurred speech, impaired mental function, dilated pupils, muscle rigidity, coma.

 

Author:

J.D. Boudreaux, PT, SCS, LAT, ATC

McLeod-Trahan-Sheffield Physical Therapy Services, LLC