best sports training and physical therapy

Preventing Heat Illness in Young Athletes

Many young athletes are gearing up for fall sports and activities. This means less rest, long hours of training, extra sun exposure and added layers of equipment that together increase the risk of heat illness. Heat illness includes several conditions ranging from mild dehydration and muscle cramps to more extreme cases of heat stroke.

Though heat illness prevention practices have greatly improved in Texas schools and across the country, it’s concerning to see athletes who, for example, sit on the couch all summer playing video games in the air conditioning. Like many, they show up to preseason training out of shape and poorly prepared for the heat.

To manage heat from the environment and from activities, the body must be in balance. Most athletes need guidance from adults to make good choices throughout the year, especially in the summer and as they begin intensive training, like preseason football two-a-days.

Here are some suggestions for parents and coaches who want to reduce the risk of heat-related illnesses in young athletes in all sports:

Encourage your athlete to:

  • Adopt healthy sleep habits

  • Choose healthy food options

  • Limit