Youth sports coaches need to be mindful of weather


June 29, 2012

Topic: Injury prevention

Youth sports coaches need to be vigilant about heat-related illnesses.

As summer weather spreads across the U.S., injury prevention measures against extreme heat are becoming a more prominent concern, particularly among those who coach youth sports. This past May, the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) released a new set of guidelines to educate coaches and athletes about heat-related illness and the importance of proper acclimatization during summertime workouts, as reported by The Eloy Enterprise.

"High humidity and temperature levels can make conditions very oppressive and very stressful," climatologist Andrew Grundstein of the University of Georgia told the news source. "I think coaches and players just need to keep their guard up."

The AIA Sports Medicine Advisory Board alerted Arizona coaches to the signs of several heat-related illnesses, including muscle cramps, orthostatic dizziness, heat exhaustion and heatstroke. The organization recommended that athletes spend the first five days of training season acclimating, and the following nine days figuring out which activities are weather-appropriate.

Hydration is also a major concern. The AIA recommends that children aged 9 to 12 years drink 5 to 8 ounces of fluid every 20 minutes in hot weather, while older children consume 1 to 1.5 liters an hour. According to the National Institutes of Health, it is best to consume beverages in small, frequent increments because drinking everything at once may increase the risk of vomiting and further fluid loss.

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