Summer Sports Safe for Children and Teens

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, playing sports in the summer heat is safe, although it is recommended that certain precautions be taken in order to avoid heatstroke. This statement, along with new guidelines, came on the heels on the recent deaths of two high school football players after playing in 32C (or 90F) degree heat.
New research shows that children and teens are not more vulnerable to heat stress than adults. But common sense must prevail when it comes to sports in hot weather. It is recommended that sports teams have emergency plans and trained personnel to detect and treat heat induced illness. Training is vital, with the intensity of the sport increasing gradually over several weeks to give the body time to adapt. And hydration is paramount; children between 9 and 12 should drink a cup of water every 20 minutes, while teens and adults should drink 5 to 6 cups an hour.

Finally everyone, including coaches, teachers, parents and children should be educated on the symptoms of heat stress, which includes dizziness, muscle cramps, headaches and nausea. Kids with these signs should immediately take a break if necessary, receive treatment.

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics, Aug 8/11

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