Summer Heat Illness: How To Protect High School Athletes

It takes time for the body to adapt when an athlete starts exercising or training in hot conditions. The process of acclimatizing to heat in an outdoor environment is called heat acclimatization.

When exposed to heat for the first three days, the body is not accustomed to the heat, which makes illness more likely. The body begins to adapt to heat by the 10th day but reaches a peak after two weeks.

A significant change within the body is expanding plasma volume, which provides more blood to the exercising muscles to dissipate heat. It improves cardiovascular efficiency.

Are Young Athletes At Risk When Temperatures Rise?

It varies across the country. According to wet bulb globe temperature, athletes living in milder climates should not practice in temperatures over 86.2 degrees Fahrenheit (30.1% Celsius).

Athletes’ trainers often use wet bulb globe temperature, which considers all four variables, to decide when to cut or cancel practice and when to take rest and cooling breaks.

What Are The Signs Of Heat Illness?

“Heat illnesses” encompass several conditions, but these are the most common:

Muscle cramps caused by dehydration and electrolyte loss or tired muscles are also known as heat cramps.

Dehydration and exercising in hot weather can cause heat exhaustion.

Exercise heat stroke occurs when the body temperature exceeds 105 F (40.6 C). Body temperature devices such as oral and forehead thermometers aren’t accurate.

Best Ways For Athletes To Stay Safe In The Heat?

Heat acclimatization guides teams in increasing the length and intensity of training sessions. Research on youth sports shows that training should only last two hours and be done once a day in the first week.

Teams should also take note of wet bulb globe temperature tables and avoid exercising during the hottest part of the day, generally 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.