Fall Sports Season Increases Risk of Heat Illness in Student Athletes
Although summer is winding down and the hottest days are behind us, temperatures are still in the 90’s in many parts of the country. Student athletes who hit the field after a day of hitting the books could be at risk of heat related illnesses that include dehydration, muscle cramps and heat exhaustion. Recognizing the symptoms and knowing how to prevent them can keep kids safe, healthy and in the game.
Reduce the risk of dehydration and heat related illness by making sure student athletes have access to water at all times during practices and games. Other tips for avoiding heat related health issues include:
Encouraging regular water breaks, even if kids don’t think they’re thirsty
Minimize heavy clothing and gear that contributes to heat retention
Know when to slow down or move practice indoors if necessary
Drink water throughout the day
Have a water rich snack after school like grapes, oranges or a smoothie
Avoid caffeinated beverages
North Carolina based FastMed Urgent Care helps athletes avoid heat-related injuries and serious health complications through its Keep Cooler program. FastMed donates free five-gallon water coolers to schools and organized sports teams in communities surrounding their 24 North Carolina locations. “Each and every one of these coolers is there to remind our coaches and students about the importance of hydration and the danger of heat related illness,” said Melvin G. Lee, M.D, Chief Medical Officer for FastMed in North Carolina, in a recent press release.
Symptoms of dehydration include:
Feeling dizzy and lightheaded
Urgent Care Centers like FastMed have extended evening and weekend hours and offer busy families a convenient option for the treatment of non-life threatening illness and injury for conditions including mild dehydration, minor lacerations and sprains