Skip Navigation LinksHome > May/June 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 3 > Cold Weather Issues in Sideline and Event Management
Current Sports Medicine Reports:
doi: 10.1249/JSR.0b013e3182578783
Sideline and Event Management: Section Articles

Cold Weather Issues in Sideline and Event Management

McMahon, J. Andrew DO; Howe, Allyson MD

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Abstract

Exercise in cold environments exerts a unique physiologic stress on the human body, which, under certain conditions, may result in a cold-related injury. Environmental factors are the most important risk factors for the development of hypothermia in athletes. Frostbite occurs as a result of direct cold injury to peripheral tissues. The biggest risk for frostbite is temperature. Trench foot is a result of repeated and constant immersion in cold water. Chilblains are local erythematous or cyanotic skin lesions that develop at ambient air temperatures of 32°F to 60°F after an exposure time of about 1 to 5 h. Cold urticaria is, essentially, an allergic reaction to a cold exposure and can be controlled with avoidance of the cold. There are a number of risk factors and conditions that predispose athletes to cold injury, but exercise in the cold can be done safely with proper education and planning.

© 2012 American College of Sports Medicine

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