School Kids and Extreme Heat: What You Need To Know
While I am trying to spend ALL of my time in air conditioning, a lot of the kids are back at it for school out in this brutal heat and humidity. Soccer Camps, Football Training, or Band Camp can be dangerous on children, and teenagers with a possibility of heat exhaustion, or in extreme cases heat stroke.
The most important thing for the kids to remember, is whether they feel thirsty or not. If they are going to be outdoors in this heat, they MUST drink lots of WATER!
Hydration! Hydration! Hydration! Hydration! Hydration!
Drink lots and lots of water, and an occasional sports-drink with added electrolytes for the athletes that are really sweating it out.
Pay attention for symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Begin hydration immediately for a child who has stopped sweating (a serious symptom), has hot, dry, red skin, or says they feel dizzy. Other symptoms include nausea or vomiting, and skin that is pale and moist. Not only give them water, stop whatever activity and seek immediate medical attention for any young athlete that exhibits these symptoms.
Follow these tips to help children and teens prepare for practice or games in extreme heat:
- Wear light colored, breathable clothing made of natural fibers like cotton.
- Bring a spray bottle and periodically mist the skin; or apply cool, wet cloths.
- Take frequent breaks between drills.
- Eat a light, healthy meal a few hours before practice.
- Avoid the sun and work out in shaded areas whenever possible.
- Avoid sports drinks that contain caffeine, which can act as a diuretic. (Water is the best form of hydration.)
- Inform a coach if your child has had prior heat-related illness.
- Don’t rely exclusively on thermometer to assess heat risk. Humidity is a major factor in how the body perceives exertion.
- Apply, and reapply, sunscreen.
Here’s a video piece by KSLA.COM from LE Band Practice Thursday August 4th…