Health Tip: Heat Safety Precautions May Save Student Athletes
Heat safety needs to be at the forefront as training gets under way for many high school sports this month, an expert says.
Loyola University Health System athletic trainer Jennifer Janczak offers the following heat safety tips for high school athletes
Drink water before practice and during breaks, even if you're not thirsty.
Don't drink beverages with caffeine.
Monitor your urine. If it's dark, you're not drinking enough water.
Alert your coach or athletic trainer if you experience signs of heat exhaustion, which include dizziness, nausea, difficulty concentrating, headache or heavy sweating. Rest in an air-conditioned room or in the shade.
Untreated heat exhaustion can lead to potentially deadly heat stroke, which requires immediate medical attention. Symptoms of heat stroke include skin that feels hot but not sweaty, shortness of breath, confusion, vomiting and loss of consciousness.
Health Tip: Lather Kids With Sunscreen
Kids love to play outside during the hot summer months, so parents must not forget to protect them from sunburn.
The American Academy of Pediatrics offers these suggestions
Apply sunscreen all over the child's face and body, and remember to reapply every two hours, or after the child gets wet.
Make sure sunscreen is at least SPF 15 and offers protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Apply it even on cloudy days.
Dress your child in lightweight cotton clothing that covers the legs and arms, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses that offer UVA and UVB protection.
Encourage your child to play and rest in the shade when the sun's rays are strongest -- between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Be aware that spending time in or near the water usually increases the risk of sunburn from the water's reflection.