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Take steps to protect your league’s members from heat illness. Heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and heat cramps are all highly possible outcomes for your players and volunteers if they are not protected from the sun’s power. When games are played in high heat or heat and high humidity, precautions should be in place.

According to the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP), children’s bodies can’t tolerate heat as well as adults, so don’t expect them to perform in the same conditions you can.

Watch for heat illness signs: weakness, dizziness, slow pulse, and clammy skin. If sweating can’t cool the body, especially because the player is dehydrated, heat stroke could develop. Signs of this are confusion, collapse, rapid pulse, and dry skin (no longer sweating).

The AAP notes heat stroke may cause convulsions or even unconsciousness. This is a medical emergency and professional help should be sought immediately. In some cases, heat stroke can kill, but it can also cause permanent brain damage in victims who survive.

Drink Early, Drink Often:

Remember, the best protection for heat illness is water and rest. The maxim is: drink early, drink often, even when players aren’t thirsty. Players should arrive for games/practices adequately hydrated and drink at least five (5) ounces of water every 15-20 minutes while they are active in the heat.

Ask players to bring water or a sports drink with modest amounts of electrolytes, but nothing with caffeine that acts as a diuretic and drains water from the body.

Try to provide water for players wherever possible at your facility.

Evidence shows that sunscreen of at least SPF 15 should be applied to exposed skin every time children will be in the sun for extended periods, to help keep the player cool and to protect against future skin cancer risk.

More Information at Heat Illness Prevention Protection Policy

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