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Dehydration & Youth Sports

Dehydration and Youth Sports: Curb the Risk



Children don’t adapt as well as adults do to exercise in hot, humid weather.  They produce more heat, sweat less and might be less likely to drink as much as adults.  This dramatically increases the risk of dehydration, heat exhaustion, heat cramps and heat stroke.  This guide will allow coaches and parents to not worry from the sidelines.  We will understand how heat-related problems occur and how to prevent them.

Risk factors for dehydration

  • Any child who exercises is at risk but some are particularly vulnerable
  • child who rarely exercises
  • Is overweight
  • Is sick
  • is taking medications or supplements
  • has had previous heat related illnesses

Acclimating to the Heat

  • Heat related problems are more common during the first few days of practice
  • Gradually increase the amount of activity
  • Young athletes may need up to two weeks to become fully acclimated to the heat
  • Drink plenty of fluids before, during and after practice : even if the athlete is not thirsty
  • wearing lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing
  • Frequent breaks for water or shade to help prevent heat related issues

Spotting Dehydration

  • Even mild dehydration can affect performance
  • Left untreated, dehydration can lead to a multi-system heat related and organ breakdown
  • Signs of dehydration include: dry mouth, thirst, headache, dizziness, cramps, confusion, lethargy, irritableness, decreased urine output and excessive fatigue.
  • Remind athletes they are responsible for reporting these symptoms ASAP
  • Don’t let embarrassment keep your child on the field
  • If detected early, rest and fluids might be all that’s needed
  • When in doubt, keep them out

Hagerty Pop Warner

 PO Box 623155
Oviedo, Florida 32762
Phone : 407-796-1997
Email : [email protected]
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