Moving into the late spring and summer months it is important to make sure your youth athletes don't come down with dehydration or falling to the heat. SAFL has some tips to keep your children safe and active. These tips can keep your child playing Baseball, Soccer, Dance, or general outdoor fun!
Many of these tips were recommended by USA Football, making a better and safer game, in their "Parent Guide" present by Children's Motrin and Children's Tylenol. Click here to see the full guide!
Protecting Against the Heat
Avoid Peak Sun Hours
Try to avoid doing activities between 10am - 4pm which are the hottest hours of the day. If actives during this time cannot be avoided plan breaks from the sun and heat throughout the day and keep up on hydration.
Hydrate before, during, and after activity
Dehydration can come quick, make sure your child drinks 16-24oz of fluids 10-15 minutes before the activity and make sure there are water breaks during playtime. Avoid sugary drinks such as soda.
HEAT SYNCOPE - Becoming Light headed or fainting during exercise.
- Find a shaded area and lay your child on the ground, and raise their legs. This helps blood get back to the heart. Click here to learn more.
HEAT EXHAUSTION - May feel hot, tired, weak, or dizzy while sweating profusely
- Remove your child from the activity and put them in a shaded / cool area. Lay your child on the ground with legs raised about 12 inches. Make sure you replenish lost fluids and use ice wrapped in towels to help cool down. Spraying with cool water or ice bath are also valid options.
HEAT CRAMPS - Painful and localized cramps that are usually visible and make muscles feel hard.
- Re-hydrate with water or sports drinks. Use light stretching and ice massages on the cramped muscles to relieve cramping. Click here to learn more.
To help fight off the heat here are some suggestions:
Did you know: Children have a harder time cooling down during activity than adults, and chances of them becoming dehydrated is higher. What comes out must be replaced!
Not urinating for many hours
Breathing faster or deeper than normal
Urine is dark yellow, like apple juice.
Effects of Dehydration
Decreased Mental Function
Decreased Motor Skills
Decreased Fluid Absorptions
Decreased Tolerance To Heat
Make Hydration a Habit. Get your child drinking fluids every 20 minutes during activities.
Before Activity: Drink 16-24 fluid ounces of water 10-15 minutes before activity.
During Activity: Hydrate with an electrolyte-packed sports drink or water every 15 - 20 minutes.
After Activity: Drink chocolate mild or consume a post-workout snack to replenish nutrients lost during exercise.
MAKE IT A HABIT TO DRINK WATER THROUGH OUT THE DAY.
If you want to learn more how SAFL keeps players safe from the heat see the following USA Football link: CLICK HERE