Heat Stroke Risk Factors

What puts an individual at risk for exertional heat stroke (EHS)?

Exercise extra caution if an athlete has any of these intrinsic factors or you are concerned regarding any of the extrinsic factors.

  • Intrinsic Factors
    • History of EHI
    • Inadequate heat acclimatization
    • Low fitness level
    • Overweight or obese
    • Inadequate hydration
    • Lack of sleep
    • Fever
    • Stomach illness
    • Highly motivated/ultra-competitive
    • Pre-pubescent
  • Extrinsic Factors
    • Intense or prolonged exercise with minimal breaks
    • High temperature/humidity/sun exposure as well as exposure to similar conditions the previous day
    • Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT)
    • Inappropriate work/rest ratios based on intensity
    • Clothing
    • Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Peer or organizational pressure
    • Lack of education and awareness of heat illness among coaches, athletes, and medical staff
    • Absence of an emergency action plan, policies and procedures or failure of either to include EHS
    • No or limited access to fluids or breaks during practice
    • Delay in recognition of signs and symptoms associated with EHS


This page was last modified August 5, 2019