Ways young athletes can handle the heat

Published On: Aug 13 2014 09:46:48 AM EDT
Updated On: Aug 14 2014 07:20:00 AM EDT
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Not everyone is excited about being back to school, but there is a lot of excitement with the start of school sports.  And here, the summer heat sticks around well into the season.  So, it's important that coaches and parents understand how to prevent heat illness.

Cleveland Clinic Children's Pediatrician Dr. Richard So says during any stretch of hot weather, the kids must be hydrated.  But he adds, that process needs to start well before the athletes ever take the field.

"Drink a bottle of water before they go to bed and then before they go to practice you drink another one in the morning because when you start your practice at the top of the day you want to start with a full tank," he said.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends heat-illness training for coaches, trainers, and other adults. AAP researchers say it's also important to educate the athletes about preparing for the heat and for adults to allow enough time for them to hydrate before, during, and after practices and games.

So says one easy way an athlete can gauge their hydration is by the color of their urine.

"If you are fully hydrated your urine should be almost clear. If you're peeing out, the darker it is the more you're behind on your fluids," he explained.

A 2011 study by the Centers for Disease Control found that football causes the most heat illnesses among young athletes. That same study found that baseball and softball causes the most heat illness in girls 14 and under.

So says coaches and parents can look for one particular sign that the heat may be getting to their players.

"In a lot of the articles that I've read, in regards to the one tell-tale sign of these catastrophic events, the one thing that happened to a lot of the kids is that they vomited," So said.

AAP researchers also recommend coaches schedule at least 2 hours between same-day contests in hot weather and that they have an action plan in place to treat heat illness.

Comments

The views expressed below are not those of News4Jax or its affiliated companies. By clicking on "Post," you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and your comment is in compliance with such terms. Readers, please help keep this discussion respectful and on topic by flagging comments that are offensive or inappropriate (hover over the commenter's name and you'll see the flag option appear on right side of that line). And remember, respect goes both ways: Tolerance of others' opinions is important in a free discourse. If you're easily offended by strong opinions, you might skip reading comments entirely.

blog comments powered by Disqus