- Have sports drinks on hand for workout sessions lasting longer than an hour.
- Keep beverages cold – cold beverages are consumed 50 percent more than warm beverages.
- Hydrate before, during and after activity. Drinking 3-4 cups of water, per hour, is recommended.
- Remove unnecessary equipment, such as helmets and padding, when environmental conditions become extreme.
- Clothing worn by athletes should be light colored, lightweight and protect against the sun.
- For the first week or so, hold shorter practices with lighter equipment so players can acclimate to the heat.
- Follow a work-to-rest ratio, such as 10-minute breaks after 40 minutes of exercise.
Heat Illness Response
Exertional heat stroke is an elevated core temperature (usually >40 degrees C or 104 degrees F) associated with signs of organ system failure due to hypothermia. Heat stroke occurs when the temperature regulation system is overwhelmed due to excessive heat production or inhibited heat loss in challenging environmental conditions during physical activity. Cold water immersion is the most effective cooling modality for athletes with EHS.
- Set up cold water immersion prior to any high-risk event.
- bullet: The goal for an EHS victim is to lower the body temperature to 102 degrees F or less within 30 minutes of collapse.
- Have large cold tubs ready before all practices and games in case cold water immersion is needed to treat exertional heat stroke.
- Be sure to follow state regulations when communicating about your patient with heat related illness and administering treatment to them.