START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x

Tips to Keep Athletes Safe in Extreme Heat

Tips to Keep Athletes Safe in Extreme Heat

This summer’s record heat has prompted the American Red Cross to reach out to parents, schools, sports coaches, and team officials, offering tips to help ensure the safety of their players during extreme heat.

“Keeping athletes safe during extreme temperatures is as important as getting them ready for the upcoming season,” said Dr. David Markenson, Chair of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council. “One of the most important things athletes can do is stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids like water or sports drinks with electrolytes before, during, and after practice — even if you are not thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.”

Other tips include:

  • Schedule team practices for early in the day and later in the evening to avoid the hottest times of the day.
  • Allow athletes to get acclimated to the heat by reducing the intensity of practice until they are more accustomed to it.
  • Take drink breaks about every 20 minutes — in the shade, if possible.
  • Reduce the amount of heavy equipment athletes wear in extremely hot, humid weather.
  • Dress athletes, when appropriate, in net-type jerseys or light-weight, light-colored, cotton tee shirts and shorts.
  • Know the signs of heat-related emergencies and monitor athletes closely.

Heat Cramps
Heat cramps are muscular pains and spasms that usually occur in the legs or abdomen caused by exposure to high heat and humidity and loss of fluids and electrolytes. Heat cramps are often an early sign that the body is having trouble with the heat. If someone is experiencing heat cramps:

  • Get the person to a cooler place and have him or her rest in a comfortable position. Stretching, massaging and icing the affected muscle may help.
  • Give a half glass of cool water or a sports drink with electrolytes every 15 minutes. Do not give liquids with alcohol or caffeine in them, as they can make conditions worse.

Heat Exhaustion
Heat exhaustion is caused by a combination of exercise induced heat, and fluid and electrolyte loss from sweating. Signs of heat exhaustion include cool, moist, pale or flushed skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea; dizziness; weakness; and exhaustion. To help someone with these symptoms:

  • Move the person to a cooler place. Remove or loosen tight clothing. Spray him or her with water or apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Fan the person. If the person is conscious, give small amounts of cool water or a sports drink with electrolytes to drink. Make sure the person drinks slowly. Watch for changes in his or her condition.
  • If the person refuses water, vomits or begins to lose consciousness, call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.

Heat Stroke
Heat stroke, also known as sun stroke, is a life-threatening condition in which a person’s temperature control system stops working and the body is unable to cool itself. Signs of heat stroke include those of heat exhaustion and hot, red skin which may be dry or moist; change or loss of consciousness; seizures; vomiting; and high body temperature. If you suspect heat stroke:

  • Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
  • Move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the person’s body by immersing them up to their neck in cold water if possible. If unable to immerse them, continue rapid cooling by applying bags of ice or cold packs wrapped in a cloth to the wrists, ankles, groin, neck and armpits, spraying with water and/or fanning.

The Red Cross offers courses in how to prevent and respond to emergencies. For more information and to register, visit: redcross.org/training

Source: American Red Cross

More Summer Reading
8 Lawnmower Injury Prevention Tips
Heatwave Survival Tips
Tips for a Salmonella Safe Summer
Doís and Doníts for Fabulous Summer Feet
10 Things to Know About Flip Flops
íTis the Season for Sunburned Feet
Surviving Summer with Multiple Sclerosis

 

Image: istockphoto.com

Read more: Children, Community, Do Good, Family, Fitness, General Health, Health, Health & Safety, Healthy Schools, Home, Life, News & Issues, Teens, , , , ,

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

23 comments

+ add your own
10:27PM PDT on Sep 24, 2014

I Never ever found such edifying blogs.
sports and safety surfaces

3:52AM PDT on May 30, 2014

Amiable articles and the blogs really helped me a lot, thanks for the valuable information.
DunkLikeABeast.com

12:16PM PDT on Aug 18, 2011

Thank you so much for useful info. Although I can't without drink during fitness. But I use it when I feel huskiness in mouth.

3:16AM PDT on Aug 11, 2011

good to know

6:34PM PDT on Aug 10, 2011

why practice/play outdoors in extreme heat then?
it can't wait till molre moderate climate/weather?

1:51PM PDT on Aug 10, 2011

Thank you for sharing this with the Care2 Community.
Peace, Tia

7:33AM PDT on Aug 10, 2011

Thanks!

8:36PM PDT on Aug 9, 2011

Every year, at least one student athlete dies while at a summer training session. I can thnk of no greater waste of a young life. Parents cannot trust a coach to keep their child safe at practice. Very simply, coaches and parents do not share the same priorities.

More parents need to keep their sons and daughters home from practice during these heat waves, or else we'll keep seeing young people die. Short of that, more parents need to actually GO to practice and monitor the effects of the heat on the athletes. Coaches have to be reminded that winning isn't everything, and that knowing when to stop isn't necessarily a sign of weakness.

5:30PM PDT on Aug 9, 2011

Thanks Ann!~

1:27PM PDT on Aug 9, 2011

Thanks for this great information.

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Excellent information. I have been known to "feel" something happening in my body - even before it …

Illegal in US but killing in other countries ... Poison is poison! but thank you US companies and p…

Too much bread in the TLT. Two slices will do. And, instead of butter, mayo, or mustard on the bre…

if someone says/does something I feel is nasty, I at first feel hurt then vengeful. I brood a bit, …

CONTACT THE EDITORS



Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.