Parents, here’s a cool breeze of relief as summer starts scorching. Experts say heat illness in young athletes is largely preventable. With a few common sense safeguards, practices, meets, and games can go on even when the mercury rises.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recently revised its guidelines on sports and heat. The update cites new research showing healthy kids and teens can adapt to the heat just as well as adults.
Smart Strategies Keep Players Cool
- Preparation goes a long way in keeping warm-weather workouts safe. Ask your child’s school or sports league about their emergency plans. They should have trained staff present at all practices and games, and be ready to end early or reschedule when the heat index gets too high.
- Talk with your children about the dangers of heat illness. Explain that they should drink and rest more when it’s warm. Make sure they know to speak up if they feel ill. Limit your children’s activity during and soon after illness, especially one that affects the stomach or causes fever. If your child has a chronic condition, including diabetes or cystic fibrosis, talk with his or her doctor before allowing exercise in the heat.
- Finally, make sure there are enough fluids on hand before, during, and after workouts and events. Depending on their age and weight, children need as much as one 8-ounce cup every 15 to 20 minutes.
- Act Quickly When Heat Illness Strikes
- When you’re on the sidelines, watch for warning signs of heat exhaustion. These include heavy sweating; dizziness and confusion; nausea; headache; and pale, moist skin. If you spot them, have your child stop exercising, sit or lie down, and cool off with fluids and cold towels or ice bags. If symptoms don’t subside, get emergency help.
Kid-Friendly Emergency Care
Summer is a season of fun, but also a time of bumps, sprains, scrapes, and stings. Fortunately, Crittenton’s Emergency Department has special Pediatric Urgent Care hours Monday through Friday, 4 to 10 p.m., and Saturday, Sunday, and holidays, noon to 10 p.m. Call (248) 652-5000 or visit crittenton.com to learn more.