Helping your student-athletes stay safe while practicing in dangerous heat

Published: Aug. 7, 2023 at 2:23 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Going back to school means extracurriculars are starting back up. If your child plays fall sports, they may be spending a lot of time outdoors in this extreme heat.

Dr. Jeremy Lindley is the assistant medical director for emergency and hospital medicine at Ascension St. Vincent’s. He said there are several heat injuries someone can suffer from, including heat stroke, exhaustion and illness. The biggest difference between the three is neurological impairment.

“If someone may be feeling really bad, maybe dehydrated, have dark-colored urine, it could quickly progress to a heat stroke if they don’t stop take a break and drink plenty of fluids,” said Lindley.

Lindley said to make sure to send your students to practice with water and a drink with electrolytes.

“If they’re sweating a lot, they are losing a lot of not only water, but electrolytes. It’s important to drink a solution with electrolytes or eat a snack that has salt in it.”

Dress them in light-weight, loose clothing and encourage them to take frequent breaks to get out of the heat and drink fluids.

“Athletic trainers do a fantastic job these days of monitoring the heat, and humidity and making sure our athletes are acclimated.”

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