Waves of heat may come and go, but the need for hydration remains constant… Especially when the heat is high. With seasonal summer temperatures, and pre-season training underway, planning ahead can save you or your child some unnecessary discomfort.
It is more difficult for young individuals (children and teenagers) to expel heat through sweat as effectively as adults. Because of this, it’s essential for young athletes to hydrate prior to practice, or engaging in strenuous physical activity, in the outside heat. A good way to ensure hydration is to take frequent (they can be quick!) breaks.
Heat illness is nothing to scoff at. It is a medical emergency that can be fatal if not treated with urgency. If you have a child in a sport, or if you are an athlete yourself, here are some symptoms you need to be aware of:
– Muscle cramps
Avoid caffeinated and sugary drinks. In fact eating plenty of fruits and vegetables will naturally hydrate you. In addition, drink enough liquid (preferably water) throughout the day, well before game time. It can also be beneficial to wear layers, should the weather be warmer than what you anticipated. Lastly, getting plenty of exercise outside can help acclimate you to warm temperatures.
Should you or your child reach the point of heat illness or exhaustion, stop the activity with which you are participating immediately and drink up. You may not feel thirsty, but it’s very important to rehydrate. A cool compress or a cool wet towel can also help lower your heightened temperature more quickly. Lastly, it’s wise to call your primary care physician for expert advice.
Stay safe and gulp away –