Safety Concerns for Exercising in Extreme Heat
The American Academy of Pediatrics has some recommendations to keep your little athlete safe when exercising or practicing in extreme heat. They are well worth a look see.
Among some of their recommendations:
- Providing risk-reduction training for coaches, trainers and other adults.
- Ensuring trained staff are available on-site to monitor for and promptly treat heat illness.
- Educating children about preparing for the heat to improve safety and reduce the risk for heat illness.
- Allowing children to gradually adapt to physical activity in the heat.
- Offering time for and encouraging sufficient fluid intake before, during and after exercise.
- Modifying activity as needed given the heat and limitations of individual athletes. Practices and games may need to be canceled or rescheduled to cooler times.
- Providing rest periods of at least 2 hours between same-day contests in warm to hot weather.
- Limiting participation of children who have had a recent illness or have other risk factors that would reduce exercise-heat tolerance.
- Developing and having in place an emergency action plan.
Other recommendations include wearing light breathable clothing, and wearing as little athletic gear as possible. Coaches and their staff should also try and schedule practices during the cooler periods of the day.
A little attention can keep your child safe on the field.