As summer swings into full speed, and temperatures rise, heat related illness becomes a serious risk among youth athletes! This is due to the fact that the body’s of children have not fully developed the ability to regulate it’s internal temperature. As a result, a child’s natural response to heat, such as sweating, is delayed, or largely suppressed. Because of this blunted response to heat, children have an increased susceptibility to heat induced illness. To keep youth athletes safe, and performing their best, fluid replacement needs to be a top priority among coaches, parents, and athletes.
To insure proper hydration, and reduce the risk of heat related illness among athletes, the National Athletic Trainer Association (NATA) has released a position statement recommending the following:
- Insure optimal pre-exercise hydration by consuming 17-20 oz. of water, or sports drink, 2-3 hours before activity, and an additional 7-10 oz. 20-30 minutes prior to activity.
- During exercise, consume 7-10 oz. of water, or sports drink every 10-15 minutes to replace fluids lost by sweat.
- Be aware of the warning signs of dehydration, and constantly monitor athletes for heat related illness. Here are a few of the symptoms to watch for: headache, nausea, chills, cramps, weakness, dizziness, decreased performance and a heat-like sensation on the back and neck.
For more information about heat related illness, fluid replacement, or youth athletes, visit the links embedded throughout the articles!
Make it a great summer!