Page 53 - Athletic Health Handbook
P. 53
If you feel your hair standing on tips to reduce risk of injury during Fast Facts
end, and/or hear “crackling noise,” an electrical storm include:
you are in lightning’s electric field. Each bolt of lightning can be
If caught outside during close-in Do not shower, bathe, or more than 5 miles in length.
lightning, immediately remove wash dishes.
metal objects (including baseball Avoid windows and doors and A bolt of lightning can reach
cap), place your feet together, stay off porches. a heat of 50,000°F.
duck your head, and crouch Do not come in direct contact
down low in baseball catcher’s with concrete floors or walls. A bolt of lightning can contain
stance with hands on knees. 100 million electrical volts.
For a large athletic event, the Assisting a Lightning
logistics of evacuating spectators Strike Victim 1,800 thunderstorms are in
must be pre-planned. Leaders should progress somewhere on earth
consider using a multi-disciplinary If someone has been struck by light- at any given time.
approach, including integrating ning, call 911 for immediate medical
weather forecasts, real-time thunder- attention. Cardiac arrest, cardiac Worldwide, approximately
storm data, a weather watcher, and arrhythmias, burns, and nerve damage 2,000 thunderstorms and 50
the “30/30 Rule” to make decisions. are all common in lightning strike to 100 lightning flashes occur
The frustration of cancelling or victims. Performing CPR can help every second.
delaying an athletic event should save a victim’s life. Providing first
not sway the appropriate decision aid to a lightning strike victim is not Lightning detection systems
to create a safe atmosphere. dangerous, and the electrical charge in the United States alone
will not affect the rescuer. monitor about 25 million flashes
Minimizing Indoor Lightning each year.
Strike Injury Risk Summary
Lightning activity can be seen
During the presence of an electrical Lightning is extremely dangerous, but not only in thunderstorms, but
storm, avoid corded phones, comput- some advance planning and common also in snowstorms, hurricanes,
ers, and other electrical equipment sense will provide a safe environment volcanic eruptions, and intense
that will allow direct contact with for participants and spectators alike. forest fires.
electricity and/or plumbing. Key At the first visible sighting of lightning
equipment should be protected by and/or an audible clap of thunder, The polarity of lightning creates
a ground fault safety device (surge immediate evacuation should occur. a positive charge on the ground
protector). The “30/30 Rule” should Safety can be found in a fully-enclosed and a negative charge in the
also be followed for indoor activities building or vehicle. Remember to atmosphere.
during an electrical storm. Other wait 30 minutes after the last clap
of thunder or last observed lightning Thunder is created by the rapid
before resuming outdoor activity. expansion of heated air as the
lightning channel heats the
surrounding air to 50,000°F.

LIGHTNING SAFETY DURING ATHLETIC EVENTS 53
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