By: Amber Fisher, MS, ATC, PES, SES
I know winter is still here and doesn’t seem to be letting go, but hot weather will be here before you know it. Therefore, knowing how to get ready to play and practice in the heat is something good to know. Following these tips by the National Athletic Trainers Association will help athletes prepare to be in the heat and help lower heat related illnesses and deaths.
There is a recommended 14 day acclimation period that should be followed to allow all athletes to acclimatize to the heat. These following tips should be used in these 14 days by the coaches and athletic trainers.
- During the first week of practice there should be 1 practice per day.
- Total practice time should be less than 3 hours per day.
- There can be a 1 hour walk-through during the 1st week of practice, but there must be a 3 hour break between practice and the walk-through.
- The 1st two days in sports that require helmets and shoulder pads/pads, only helmets are permitted to be worn. Days 3-5 it is helmets and shoulder pads only. Day 6 and after all equipment can be worn.
- Between day 6 and 14 2-a-day practices must be followed by a single practice day.
- With 2-a-day practices neither practice should go longer than 3 hours and combined total practice time should be 5 hours or less. The two practices should be at least 3 hours apart.
- Finally, an athletic trainer should be on site to monitor athletes for heat related illnesses.
You should also know and signs/symptoms of heat illnesses and what to do to treat them.
- S/S: Heavy sweating, fast and weak pulse, weakness, nausea, cold, pale and clammy skin and possible fainting.
- Treatment: Move into a cool place, remove excess clothing, sip water, and apply cool wet cloths
- High body temperature of over 103 degrees, red, hot, dry skin, headache, dizziness and possible unconsciousness.
- Treatment: Call 911, immediate cooling of the person, best way is whole body cold tub immersion.
Information was gained via http://www.nata.org