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sports drinks, and water should be considered part of the game when young athletes are
practicing or playing in the heat.
is a pediatrician and a coach. He
preaches proper hydration to his patients and his players on the Bluegrass
Elite Lacrosse Team.
White advises, "Even a well-hydrated athlete can succumb to heat-related
illness, and that needs to be back of the mind of every coach, player and
starts the morning with a big glass of water. It's all about how much water you
can get in," White says. "You're dehydrated after sleeping all night long,
so everybody should start with 16-18-20 ounces of water first thing in the
morning, and they should be consuming water throughout the day."
an athlete take in 16-20 ounces of sports drink on the way to an event and
during the event. He says sports drinks
are absorbed much faster than water.
usually recommend watering it down about 50 percent of the recommended mixture
and adding a little salt," White says. "That's what we do for the
usually remember to hydrate during an event, but you have to keep hydrating
afterward. And, for that, Dr. White recommends a glass of chocolate milk.
back to water again. Dr. White also recommends athletes weigh themselves before
and after practice and try to hydrate back to their pre-workout weight before
the next practice or event.
I have found is that if you give them something quantifiable and (an) amount to
drink and a time or you can't go to practice it gets done more often than
not," says White.
important, coaches must be aware of the signs of heat-related illness and know
what to do when those signs are present.
The early signs are subtle--players look extremely tired. That can
progress to headaches, nausea, and dizziness which should be taken seriously.
off come the pads, off comes clothing," says White. "Cool water on them, in the shade,
inside if that's a possibility."
If a player
faints or vomits, it should be assumed he is headed toward heat stroke which is
a medical emergency, and 911 should be called while the player's body is
"What I would urge coaches to do is watch their players carefully. Watch for the subtle signs early on. And, I've been there, as seemingly good as it
is to push through these things and make them tougher, you risk serious illness
if you push on in those 100-degree, 100 heat index days."
Altered practice schedules,
playing without heavy equipment, or just skipping practice on an oppressive day
are all measures that keep players safe.