Heat and humidity: Sports parents, beware
By Sports Medicine & Performance Center staff
Summer youth sports leagues are still in full swing as high school athletic teams hit the practice fields anticipating the new school year. This means young athletes are giving their all in blast-furnace heat and sauna-like humidity for hours at a time. What’s a parent to do to keep them safe?
Take weather conditions seriously
Be prepared in extreme heat
Slather on sunscreen
Wear light-weight, light-colored clothes
Remember a hat and sunglasses
Avoid greasy foods and drink plenty of water before going out
Find shade whenever possible
“Preparation starts well ahead of sporting events,” said Doug Wiesner, certified athletic trainer and youth sports medicine program director of The University of Kansas Hospital’s Center for Sports Medicine. “Once the symptoms of heat exhaustion and/or heat stroke hit, it’s hard to recover.”
Hydration is key
Check with the coach or athletic trainer to confirm water will be readily available at all practices and games. Wiesner advises young athletes to drink water at every opportunity during the first hour of play. Then alternate with a watered down sports drink to boost electrolytes and limit sugar intake.
Be sure your athlete knows to seek shade immediately and drink fluids at the first sign of dizziness, headache, nausea and/or cramping. If you’re on the scene, consider whether your child needs medical attention.
The University of Kansas Hospital Sports Medicine Archive
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