Written by RUGBYMag Staff    Friday, 05 August 2011 13:23    PDF Print Write e-mail
Athletes Need to be Careful in Heat
Off The Field - People

State College, Pa.  – A report from AccuWeather.com shows that brutal summer temperatures and extreme amounts of humidity have athletes suffering throughout the South.

At least two high school football players and one coach have died in just the last week due to complications from the extreme heat. There has also been a report of an adult runner in Kansas City who died due to heat stroke over the weekend.

The heat is no joke across the country, and athletes of all kinds are suffering more than ever this summer due to the relentless hot, dry weather.

Dr. Douglas Casa from the University of Connecticut states that this last week was "the worst week in the last 35 years in terms of athlete deaths."

Doctors and other officials are stating that tragedies like this could continue until parents demand more specific rules for high school sports.

According to CNN.com, there are no nationwide specific rules written to protect high school athletes from complications due to the hot weather. However, many school districts do put out some sort of guidelines to deal with the extreme conditions.

Dr. Casa also reports that heat stroke is mostly survivable. All that needs to be done is to immerse the athlete suffering in a tub of cold water or a pool. This is usually an afterthought, as most people would call 911 first without thinking too immediately cool off the athlete.

Heat stroke and other heat-related illnesses are completely preventable by following the recommendations below.

Tips to Beat the Heat

The best way to beat the heat is to stay indoors in air conditioning. Many people venture to places like shopping malls and libraries with air conditioning if they do not have air conditioning at home.

If you do go outdoors, wear a hat and light, loose-fitting clothes, and of course sunscreen.

Drink plenty of water and, as mentioned before, avoid alcoholic beverages.

According to the Missouri State High School Activities Association, athletes are encouraged to weigh themselves before and after each practice session. If a player's weight drops more than 3 percent, dehydration is setting in. If it should drop more than 5 percent, heat-related illness has begun.

If you do need to work outside or participate in strenuous practices, do so in the early morning hours or later in the evening.

While we have reached the end of solar summer, the bad news is that extreme heat could continue into September for Texas and other parts of the South.

By Brian Edwards, meteorologist for AccuWeather.com