Heat Stroke And Young Athletes can cause a parent to worry about their young athletes trying to get in shape for the competition of organized sports. Hearing about the death of a former team member for the Dallas Cowboys on Monday is a bit alarming.
Heat Stroke And Young Athletes is actually a warning about heat dangers. Coaches are the ones we rely on to help us know what is going on health-wise with our young athletes. That is a lot of responsibility for the coaches and having parents help monitor from the sidelines can help.
Marion Barber with the Dallas Cowboys was found dead in his apartment Monday, July 10, 2022 According to the Washington Post this athlete liked practicing in sauna-like conditions. His death was called heat stroke by the paper headlines.
Did this athlete die because of football injuries or was it from the heat of his apartment and its 90* set thermostat? Heat can be deadly, and we should have a plan for hot days for our families to keep them safe.
This is also true for when your young athlete is competing in organized sports. To plan, you have to be aware of what the symptoms of too much heat are, and have some idea of proper treatment.
Young athletes are subject to stress from the heat, and it is often difficult to be aware of the dangers without some information about what to look for.
What Happens As A Result Of Exposure To Extreme Heat?
Overloading their body’s ability to stay cool can easily cause your young athlete to suffer a heat-related illness.
The body normally cools itself by sweating.
However, sometimes sweating just isn’t enough.
When sweating isn’t enough, a young athlete’s body temperature can rise quickly. High core body temperatures may damage the brain or other vital organs.
Several factors affect the young athlete’s body’s ability to cool itself during extremely hot weather. You as the parent of a young athlete should be aware that when the humidity is high, sweat will not evaporate as quickly.
Sweat that just drips off does not evaporate as normal cooling is supposed to happen. Body heat will not be cooling as quickly as may be needed.
(This condition of high humidity with high temperatures can also affect older people and very young kids more quickly, even though they are not exercising.
Other conditions that make the risks for heat stroke higher are obesity, fever, dehydration, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation, sunburn, prescription drug use, and alcohol use.)
While we are talking about heat-related issues, if you young athlete has a sunburn on his/her body, they will be affected by too much heat as well.
A Heat Stroke And Young Athletes Warning Signs
The Center For Disease Control, (CDC) shares these warning signs of heat stroke. They tell us that the signs may vary but often include one or more from this list of warning signs of trouble for the young athlete:
- High body temperature (above 103°F)
- A rapid, strong pulse
- Flushed or red, hot, and dry skin with no sweating
- Usually, there is a throbbing headache
- Dizziness is very common
- Nausea is also very common
- Slight to heavy confusion for the young athlete suffering too much heat
- Unconsciousness is not uncommon when left untreated.
This is serious and intervention is important, Call 911.
What Should I Do If I See A Young Athlete With Any Warning Signs Of Heat Stroke?
A quick review of what you can do if you see any of the signs of someone struggling with a heat issue. Keep in mind, that it is possible that you are dealing with a life-threatening emergency. Get some backup to help you.
Have someone call for immediate medical assistance while you begin cooling the victim.
- Move the victim to a shady area. Even to a vehicle with the AC running.
- It is important to cool the victim quickly. If you are on a sports playing field: Remove any extra clothing like shoulder pads or helmets. Any extra padding on the rest of the body as well. Loosen tight bands or belts and unbutton shirts if possible. Sponge the victim with a cool wet towel. Wrap another towel around the legs. If available, mist or lightly spray water on the person to get the evaporation going.
- Offer cool water or sports drinks.
- If the EMS is delayed, call the hospital for more instructions.
- If emergency medical personnel are delayed, call the hospital emergency room for further instructions.
- Get medical assistance as soon as possible.
Sami’s Take On Heat Stroke And Young Athletes
It is easy to be an unaware parent when it comes to the dangers of the heat. I will admit that my experiences were in a dry climate in Eastern New Mexico. Far different that our climate here in Central Texas.
As our climate continues to change, we see more extremes in weather. As a parent, you clue in on your young athlete being in trouble with the heat much earlier than anyone else can. Coaches have the best of intentions, but it is an ongoing danger for the athletes to be properly acclimated.
Stay alert, and keep an eye n the players. If you can stay during practice times. as well as the actual game times.
Having a tote bag with a couple of towels and a bottle or two of water can be a good immediate first ade kit. With the heat, the danger hits quickly, and sometimes unexpectedly.
Getting started cooling the young athletes’ core temperature is important and life-saving. This climate is changing and often coaches are caught unaware when their team gets in trouble from the heat. Just like the new, younger players are just learning the ropes and the game rules, coaches are involved with teaching and guiding.
Having supportive parents to help catch problems early keeps everyone safer and more able to enjoy sports during the hotter months. Extreme heat is deadly and your young athlete needs help staying healthy as they are learning to notice the signals and to speak up when they know things don’t seem right.
This young many who was with the Dallas Cowboys team, Marion Barber was an adult with many years of experience under his belt. Yet, he apparently did not realize he was in trouble. A heat stroke in his apartment is most surely a strange way to go.
We are learning that we much educate ourselves and our young athletes about the dangers of the heat, both inside and out.
Sami’s Take On Sun Blocking Clothing For Parents Watching Sports Competition
This is when you need to make sure you and the family sitting on the sidelines are protected from the sun.
If you are fortunate enough to have early or late practice or games, it is easy to get careless about getting too much sun on your face, your arms, and legs.
When you are attending practice or games, you are there for a good while. Often longer than is safe for your skin to be exposed to the sun, even during non-peak hours.
Oh, you like a little tan? Do you like looking older? Even if you are wearing enough sunscreen to protect yourself properly, you can still burn!
Wear a sun blocking hat for your head, and face to shield the sun from your face.
Remember your sunglasses. They are important for eye health and safety.
A loosely fitting long-sleeve shirt to keep the sun off the trunk of your body.
Lightweight loose fitting pants to protect your legs. Your legs are a lot of skin to be bare and subject to burning. Is it worth the risk of not covering up? Set a good example for your younger family members. Protect yourself from too much sun.
Do I think you will do all the protection you can?
No, not really. I can hear you now. Oh well, I never sunburn, so I don’t have to worry about the sun. Really, you are OK with adding age to your skin before necessary?
However, if you do just one thing to protect yourself and your family, it is a start. Maybe if you see you don’t have a miserable summer just because you are only a bit tanned not bronze. Life does go on when you have healthy skin, not tanned too much.
Just the slightest move to moderation is a step.
Each small step is important as we proceed in our world with climate change producing more and more hot days of the summer sun.