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Heat Safety

Susan Yeargin (Athletic Trainer): Preventing Heat Illness Is Her Passion

In recognition of April as National Youth Sports Safety Month, MomsTeam asked 30 experts to write a blog answering two questions: first, how or why did they get into their field, and second, how have they made a difference in the life of a youth athlete in the past year.

Today, we hear once again from Susan Yeargin, a certified athletic trainer, MomsTeam's hydration expert, Assistant Professor in the Physical Education and Athletic Training Department at the University of South Carolina, and new mom!

By Susan Yeargin, PhD, ATC

An athletic trainer decides to devote her professional career to studying ways to improve child and adolescent hydration and the prevention and treatment of heat illness after learning of the death of a college football player from heat stroke.

Georgia Heat Acclimatization Guidelines

In 2012 Georgia became the sixth state to adopt heat-acclimatization guidelines to reduce the risk of exertional heat stroke among high school athletes.  In adopting  key recommendations from a 2009 statement from the National Athletic Trainers Association, the Georgia High School Association joins Connecticut, New Jersey, Texas and North Carolina.  Since then three more states (Arizona, Florida and Iowa) have adopted the full set of heat recommendations.

Inadequate Heat Acclimatization A Risk Factor For Heat Illness

Three risk factors for heat illness among athletes, says Lyle Micheli, M.D., Director, Division of Sports Medicine at Children's Hospital Boston, are a lack of heat acclimatization (which can take 2 or 3 weeks), a general lack of physical fitness, and obesity.

Exertional Sickling: Serious But Survivable If Prompt Action Taken

Yvette L. Coursey, DPA, talks about how sickle cell trait, ordinarily a relatively benign condition, can cause youth engaged in sustained, intense exercise to suffer a potentially life-threatening condition called exertional sickling.  Coursey emphasizes that the condition is survivable if treated promptly.

Dehydration in Sports: A Year-Round Concern

Whether your tween or teen is at the rink, on the court, in the pool, or on the slopes, the need to keep them well-hydrated so they can perform at their best is the same in winter as on the hottest days of summer.

Dehydration Constant Concern Regardless of Weather

Contrary to conventional wisdom, a young athlete's need to stay hydrated is a constant regardless of the sports season, Kids can become dehydrated whatever and whenever they play sports, regardless of the temperature or relative humidity.

Another Benefit of Gatorade

Our two sons played organized ice hockey and baseball, beginning at ages five (ice hockey) and nine (Little League).  They went on to become All-Stars in both sports in high school, competing on varsity and travel teams.  They entered Ivy League colleges and had to choose to play one sport, due to overlapping seasons.  They both chose baseball.  They each became All-Ivy baseball players and went on to play in the Boston Red Sox pro baseball system for seven years (which I chronicle in my book, MINOR LEAGUE MOM:  A MOTHER'S JOURNEY THROUGH THE RED SOX FARM TEAMS).

Benefits of Gatorade for an infant or toddler explained.

High School Athletes, Males Most Likely Heat Illness Victims Says CDC

High school athletes, especially males, are at the highest risk of suffering exertional heat illness requiring treatment in U.S. hospital emergency rooms, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Risk Factors for Exertional Heat Illness in Children and Teens

Most healthy children and adolescents can safely participate in outdoor sports and other physical activities in a wide range of challenging warm to hot weather, but there are numerous factors that put them at increased risk of exertional heat illness.

Heat Illness Terms Defined

Sports medicine practitioners throw around a lot of different terms when it comes to heat illness.  Here are the terms as defined by the American Academy of Pediatrics in its newly revised Policy Statement on Climactic Heat Stress and Exercising Children and Adolescents.
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