As young athletes are preparing for organized sports this summer during record-high heat conditions, members of the National Athletic Trainers Association and the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine are calling for drinking water often and early.
To stay active and healthy, young athletes need plenty of the right kinds of fluids, Marjorie J. Albohm, MS, ATC, a member of the STOP Sports Injuries campaign and president of the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) stated in a press release. Staying hydrated is extremely important because water is what delivers oxygen to the muscles, providing fuel for grueling summer workouts.
The STOP Sports Injuries campaign launched this spring by the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) and a coalition of other health-related organizationsaims to arm the public with information and tools to prevent, recognize and treat the long-term consequences of sports overuse and trauma injuries to children.
Whenever young people are outside playing or practicing in the heat, they need lots of fluids to replace what their bodies are losing through sweating, Doug Casa, PhD, ATC, FNATA, FACSM, heat illness researcher and professor of kinesiology at the University of Connecticut, noted in the release. If the body isnt replenished, dehydration can occur and increase the risk of a serious heat illness like heat stroke.
Casa, Albohm and other sports medicine professionals warn coaches, trainers, parents and athletes to diligently monitor their conditions, being especially mindful of the symptoms of heat illness: chills; dark-colored urine; dizziness; dry mouth; headaches; muscle cramps; thirst; and weakness.
Young athletes just beginning summer practices for organized sportslike football, baseball and soccerare particularly vulnerable to suffering some form of heat illness, according to the release.
Casa recommends that young people drink at least eight ounces of fluidssuch as water, juice, or sports drinks like Gatoradebefore beginning outdoor activities, and up to five ounces more every 20 minutes during the activity.
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