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6

Jul, 2015

Keeping Young Athletes Safe in the Heat!

Fluids, Common sense Measures Can Help Protect Young Athletes From Heat-Related Illness
 
With the air temperature exceeding 85°F and our young athletes are hitting the fields for camps and training, It is critical for your child to take time to acclimatize to the heat to minimize the risk of heat illness. 
 
It's not all that bad if we do the little things well to prevent situations that are potentially dangerous. Please be aware of what you and your child can do.
 
While coaches make on-the-field decisions to improve safety, here are some tips for athletes to play it safe during hot and humid weather:
 
Recommendations for Athletes and Parents:
  • Wear light-colored and lightweight clothing; if clothes become saturated with sweat, change into dry clothes.
  • Try to drink cold water as frequently as possible. During long bouts of intense exercise, it's a good idea to use a sports drink that contains sodium to replace the sodium lost in sweat. Most sports drinks contain adequate salt. Salt tablets are not recommended.
  • Modify activity as needed, given the heat and limitations of individual athletes
  • Evaluate your child with a critical eye.
  • If there’s something that doesn’t look right, be honest with yourself and bring it to your doctor’s attention.
  • Pay attention to early signs and symptoms of dehydration:
  • Dry or sticky mouth, thirst, headache, dizziness, cramps, and/or excessive fatigue.
  • Providing rest periods of at least two hours between same-day contests in warm to hot weather.
  • Don’t let embarrassment keep you on the field. If you feel dehydrated or sick, tell your coach right away.
  • Sleep at least six to eight hours at night in a cool environment, eat a well-balanced diet, and stay hydrated throughout the day, even when you are not on the playing field.
  • Limiting participation of children who have had a recent illness or have other risk factors that would reduce exercise-heat tolerance.
  • Track body weight to make sure you are properly hydrated. Your goal should be less than 2 percent body-weight change during a practice session.
  • Offering time for and encouraging sufficient fluid intake before, during, and after exercise.
New research shows that children and adults of comparable fitness levels have similar responses to heat exertion as long as they are adequately hydrated.
 
“Most healthy children and athletes can safely participate in outdoor sports and activities in a wide range of warm to hot weather, but adults sometimes create situations that are potentially dangerous,” researcher Stephen G. Rice, MD, former member of the executive committee of the AAP Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness, says in a news release. “Heat illness is entirely preventable if coaches and other adults take some precautions to protect the young athletes.”
 
 
Little things are the big things. Let's make sure we play smart and safe!
 
 
Coach Craig & Coach Sheriff
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