The Dangers of Practicing in the Summer Heat and How to Avoid Them!
As August steadily approaches, fall sports begin their training sessions and daily practices. This means plenty of “two-a-day” practice sessions in the sweltering summer heat, which can lead to some dangerous situations if you don’t take the necessary precautions. Most people know that the combination of heat and humidity can be bad for young and old alike, but problems can also arise for anyone who isn’t cautious. Strenuous exercise on a hot day is risky business, especially for football players with all of their heavy equipment. They run the risk of fainting, heat exhaustion, or even heat stroke.
In 2011 there were a total of 6 deaths during summer football practices. Each summer varies but on average of 2.8 students die each year during football summer training. The fortunate thing about this serious danger is that it is completely avoidable with simple steps.
Here are some tips for players to help stay safe during practices:
1. Stay Hydrated! It’s the most important!
2. Slow down and remember to take breaks when you begin to feel fatigued, a headache, high pulse rate or shallow breathing.
3. Wear clothing that is breathable and that is a lighter color (avoid black if you can.)
4. Wear sunscreen! Sun burns reduce your body’s ability to get rid of heat
5. Don’t be afraid to bring Dr. Cool wraps to practice. Taking the precautionary measures to have an icy cold Dr. Cool on-hand during an overheating emergency is better than not having one.
Here are some tips for coaches for conducting safer practices:
1. Avoid conducting multiple field practices on sequential days
2. Have plenty of available access to water. Gatorade jugs, hoses…anything with access within a short distance. Encourage members of the team to also bring their own water.
3. Take plenty of breaks and utilize any shady areas.
4. Hold practices without pads on extreme heat days. Pads and other equipment can make over heating occur quicker.
5. If it is possible, hold practices earlier in the morning or later at night when the sun and heat isn’t as oppressive.
Most importantly for coaches and athletes be aware of how your body is feeling and keep an eye on your teammates or players! Heat can be a serious danger to your health but with the right precautions it can also be easily avoid! Good luck out there and let the season begin!
Injuries can happen even in practice, so be sure to keep your Dr.Cool Wraps on hand, and pick up a Dr.Cooler to keep your wraps nice and cold so they are ready to use.