Recognizing, Preventing, and Treating Heat-Related Illness
Heat waves are projected to increase in frequency, intensity, and duration, posing increasing danger to those who spend extended periods outdoors, including student athletes. This online course from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is designed to help coaches, athletic trainers, students, school nurses, parents, teachers, and others understand heat-related illness in student athletes. In addition to providing guidance on ways to prevent heat-related illness, the tool explains how to identify it and treat it when it occurs. The course includes tools—such as heat index charts, a wet bulb globe temperature chart, and sweat rate calculator—to help users assess whether it’s safe to play or practice.
While the course is suitable for individual users, presenting it in a group setting with a facilitator promotes discussion, optimizes learning, and encourages others to share their own heat-related illness incidents. An important goal of the training is to reinforce awareness. Coaches, athletic trainers, students, school nurses, parents, teachers, and others should consider heat-related illness when they develop and implement health and safety guidelines and emergency planning.
When the course is completed with a satisfactory score on the final evaluation, continuing education credits are available for:
- Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC),
- Continuing Education Contact Hours (CECH) for Certified Health Education Specialists through the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. (NCHEC), and
- Continuing Education Units (CEU) through the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
This training course can be used to supplement a health education course. National Health Education Standards correspond to the objectives in the Heat-Related Illness Training Course and complement a middle school or high school health education curriculum.