Play It Smart When It Comes to Lightning03/24/13
SUNDAY, March 24 (HealthDay News) -- Lightning safety is an
important issue for people who enjoy outdoor recreational and
sports activities, according to the National Athletic Trainer's
During the past decade, lightning caused an average of 42 deaths
a year in the United States and about 10 times as many
In 2010, outdoor recreational activities and organized sports
accounted for 62 percent of lightning-related deaths, according to
the National Weather Service. In 2011, those activities accounted
for 48 percent of lightning-related deaths.
The National Athletic Trainer's Association has released a
position statement that outlines ways to reduce the number of
injuries and deaths caused by lightning strikes. It appears in the
March issue of the
Journal of Athletic Training.
"All individuals, particularly those who are in charge of sports and recreational activities, should be aware of the hazards, establish and follow appropriate guidelines, and ensure that those around them do so," statement writing group chairwoman Katie Walsh, of East Carolina University, said in an association news release. "Proper preparation and notifying participants of lightning danger is critical."
Coaches, athletic trainers, parents, administrators and others
involved in outdoor athletic or recreational activities are urged
to follow these lightning safety policies:
- Create a lightning-specific emergency plan for each outdoor
- Ensure lightning and general weather awareness.
- Prepare planning protocols for large venues.
- Be equipped and prepared to provide first aid.
Anyone involved in an outdoor activity should be aware that
safety comes first and that there are no penalties or repercussions
if they feel there is a danger of lightning and want to find a safe
location, Walsh said.
The threat of thunderstorms and lighting is particularly high
from afternoon to early evening between late spring and early fall,
which is when 90 percent of casualties occur, according to the news
release. July is the most dangerous month.
For more on lightning safety, visit the
National Weather Service.
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Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.