Prevention of Cold Injuries During Exercise
ARMY RESEARCH INST OF ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE NATICK MA THERMAL AND MOUNTAIN MEDICINE DIVISION
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In is the position of the American College of Sports Medicine that exercise can be performed safely in most cold-weather environments without incurring cold-weather injuries. The key to prevention is use of a comprehensive risk management strategy that a identifiesassesses the cold hazard b identifiesassesses contributing factors for cold-weather injuries c develops controls to mitigate cold stressstrain d implements controls into formal plans and e utilizes administrative oversight to ensure controls are enforced or modified. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that 1 coachesathletesmedical personnel know the signssymptoms and risk factors for hypothermia, frostbite, and nonfreezing cold injuries, identify individuals susceptible to cold injuries, and have the latest up-to-date information about current and future weather conditions before conducting training sessions ore competitions 2 cold-weather clothing be chosen based on each individuals requirements and that standardized clothing ensembles not be mandated for entire groups 3 the wind-chill temperature index be used to estimate the relative risk of frostbite and that heightened surveillance of exercisers be used at wind-chill temperatures below -27 deg C -18 deg F and 4 individuals with asthma and cardiovascular disease can exercise in cold environments, but should be monitored closely.
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