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Risk perceptions for exertional heat illnesses in junior cricket in Sri Lanka
  1. Prasanna Janaka Gamage1,
  2. Lauren Victoria Fortington1,2,
  3. Caroline F Finch2,3
  1. 1 School of Health and Life Sciences, Federation University Australia, Mt Helen, Victoria, Australia
  2. 2 School of Medical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Western Australia, Australia
  3. 3 DVCRI Portfolio, Federation University Australia, Mt Helen, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Lauren Victoria Fortington; l.fortington{at}


Objectives Exertional heat illnesses (EHI) can occur when sport is played in hot and humid environments, such as those common across Asia. Measures to reduce the risk of EHI are important; however, causal data on EHI occurrence are limited and challenging to capture. To gain an initial understanding of EHI risks, we aimed to assess the risk perceptions of EHI of youth cricketers.

Methods A descriptive cross-sectional survey, comprised of 14 questions on EHI risks, was conducted with 365 Sri Lankan junior male cricketers (age=12.9±0.9 years) who typically play in hot and humid conditions.

Results For climate related risks, relative humidity was perceived as having a low risk of EHI compared with ambient temperature. The EHI risk associated with wearing protective gear, as commonly used in cricket, was perceived as low. Most junior cricketers perceived a low level of risk associated with recommended preventive measures such as body cooling and heat-acclimatisation.

Conclusion This is the first study to explore EHI risk perceptions in any sporting context. Young players may not be mindful of all risks. Therefore, leadership and initiative from competition organisers and parents is required to promote countermeasures.

  • athletic injuries
  • heat stroke
  • heat stress disorders
  • heat exhaustion
  • health risk behaviors
  • sports medicine

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  • Funding PJG was supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) stipend and RTP Fee-Offset Scholarship through Federation University Australia.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval This study was approved by the Human Ethical Review Committee of the Federation University Australia (A16-039).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

  • Author note Aspects of this research are related to the work of the Australian Centre for Research into Injury in Sport and its Prevention (ACRISP), which is one of the IOC centres of research excellence for the prevention of injuries and promotion of health in athletes.