Keeping young athletes from overheating on the field

Posted: Updated:
By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- School will be back in session before we know it. But before Valley classrooms open up their doors, students will be practicing for the upcoming fall sports season. We have some tips to make sure our young athletes don't overheat.

When the heat and humidity are high Coach Todd Greguson knows that keeping his players cool is a top priority.

“Keep them hydrated and lots of fluid throughout the course of the game,” Greguson said.

Mayo Clinic sports medicine specialist Chad Eickoff said water is the key to avoiding heat exhaustion or heat stroke. But drinking it before you step out on the field might be a good idea.
 
“The day before, the morning before practice starts and make sure you’re hydrating throughout the day,” Eickoff said.

It's important during exercise to drink eight ounces every twenty minutes especially for players who wear a lot of gear.

“You get to dive around in the dirt,” baseball player Carter Greguson said. “I like getting hot and sweaty.”

Football players are at particular risk. Besides being hydrated, players should get used to the heat slowly over a period of up to two weeks.

“Incremental steps,” Eickoff said. “The first day you don't want to do three hours in the heat, you want to do maybe an hour.”

Some symptoms that the heat might be too much for young athletes include leg cramps, stomach ache, headache and dizziness. If this happens get the player out of the heat and if he or she stops sweating, has clammy skin and is disoriented give them water and call 9-1-1.
   
For more information on heat exhaustion or heat stroke, log onto http://www.mayoclinic.org