We are only a little more than halfway through the summer of 2011 and already at least five athletes and one coach have reportedly died from exertional heat stroke.
The fact is that heat stroke is one of the most preventable sports injuries.
To avoid heat illness, parents should make sure kids:
- Avoid exercising between 10am and 5pm - completely!
- Avoid exercising when a heat alert or advisory has been issued;
- Stay hydrated;
- Get plenty of sleep and sleep in an air conditioned room;
- Limit exercise in the heat the day following a long day of heat exposure (i.e. all day at theme park or pool)
- Decrease exercise intensity;
- Decrease exercise duration;
- Work with coaches before practice starts to determine time, length, intensity, and breaks (for more on pre-season acclimatization guidelines, click here);
- Are allowed to take breaks and express their fatigue while exercising in the heat without fear of being penalized by the coach;
- Always tell a parent, if they are exercising alone, where they are going and for how long they will be gone.