- Comprehensive training for athletics staff to recognize signs of heat illness and provide appropriate response techniques. Never practice without qualified staff on the field that can both recognize the signs of heat-related issues and immediately treat them.
- Guidelines for measuring and reacting to temperature and humidity levels. Clear guidelines allow for everyone to be on the same page. For instance, reducing activities when the heat index is at or tops 95 and cutting off activities at an index of 105.
- Providing participants with frequent water breaks, and a trip to the scales at the beginning and end of each practice session. Water intake is important. If a player's weight drops 3 percent or more, it's considered a sign of dehydration; losses of 5 percent could be seen as an indicator of heat-related illness.
- A plan for reacting to heat stroke emergencies including body-cooling arrangements. If a heat illness is suspected, immediately remove the athlete to a shady or air-conditioned area. Provide cold drinks, loosen clothing, and spray or sponge with cool water. Cooling should continue even if an ambulance is called, as the body may only withstand heat illness for about 30 minutes.
- Plan on giving athletes' bodies time to acclimatize to the environment and heat stresses. To decrease the number of heat-related illnesses, the National Collegiate Athletic Association recently instituted a mandatory five day acclimatization period. The intent is that practice intensity level and duration in this period should be increased gradually.
The Hanover Offers Tips To Help Avoid Heat Exhaustion During Athletic Camps And Practices
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