Polk County Health Department

Extreme Heat Recommendations for Athletes, Coaches, Parents and Umpires

On days where individuals will be exposed to temperatures that will increase their risk of developing a heat illness, certain precautions need to be taken in order to ensure their safety.

Coach Precautions

  • Provide water coolers for the team. The coach should encourage his/her team to constantly drink water throughout practice or a game; When coming off the field, when taking a break, before going back on the field, and  after practice or  competition
  • Constantly monitor team members to catch any signs of an illness. If caught early, a severe illness can be  prevented.
  • If a player should collapse because of heat exhaustion, 911 should be called immediately and the player should be placed in cool/shaded area and be given water and cooled down until medical professionals  arrive.
  • Monitor officials/umpires safety. Check for any signs and symptoms of an illness. Make sure they are getting properly hydrated.

Parent Precautions

  • Parents should strongly  encourage child to stay adequately hydrated throughout the day of  competition.
  • Make sure child is drinking water first thing in the morning and up until practice or game time. Then encourage them to drink water after practice or competition to allow for proper fluid replacement.
  • Make sure child uses  sunscreen to avoid sunburn. It is recommended that sunscreen is applied approximately 30 minutes prior to exposure. If child is exposed in the sun for longer than two hours, then re-application should be done.

Offical/Umpire Precautions

  • Because of the protective gear, umpires should also follow the guidelines for hydration recommendations. Drink water between innings, during timeouts, between games.
  • Constantly monitor competitors to watch for signs and symptoms of a heat illness.
  • If a player looks distressed when exposed to the heat, inform coach and allow for a substitution to happen immediately and make sure player is getting the proper treatment when substituted.
  • If a half-inning has lasted over 15 minutes, allow a short break for  competitors to get water. (softball/baseball)
  • At the official’s discretion, breaks should be allowed for all competitors to drink water. 

 

Heat Stroke  
Signs and Symptoms: First Aid Procedures:
Skin hot and dry or cool and moist Call 911

Nausea and vomiting

Move individual into cool/shaded area

Dizziness and confusion

Provide active cooling measures (ice bags, spray with water, etc)

Shallow and rapid breathing

Wait for medical professionals to arrive

Rapid heart and slurred speech  

 

Heat Exhaustion  
Signs and Symptoms: First Aid Procedures:

Heavy sweating

Stop activity immediately

Cool, moist skin

Move individual into a cool area

Fatigue

Apply active cooling measures

Dizziness, fainting

Give individual fluids

Nausea

Seek medical help if signs and symptoms do not improve after one hour

Headache

 

 

 

Heat Syncope  
Signs and Symptoms: First Aid Procedures:
Light headedness Sit or lie down in cool/shadded area
Dizziness Slowly drink fluids

 

Heat Cramps Heat Rash  
First Aid Procedures: Signs and Symptoms Prevention and Procedures:

Stop activity immediately

Cluster of red bumps, small pimples

Wear loose-fitting and light-colored clothes

Move individual to cool/shaded area

 

Found on neck, upper chest, under breasts, groin

Keep area as dry as possible

 

Drink fluids, especially electrolyte drink

 

 

Can use powder or calamine lotion to increase comfort

Seek medical attention if individual: has heat problems, is on a low-sodium diet, or cramps do not go away within one hour

 

   

 

Mild to Moderate Dehydration Severe Dehydration

Fatigue—Children are less active than usual

Extreme thirst

Thirst

Very dry mouth

Dry skin

Little or no urination—urine will be much darker than normal

Headache

Rapid increase in heart rate

Dizziness or light headedness

Rapid breathing

Few or no tears when crying

Unconsciousness  or delirium

Decreased urine output

Irritability and confusion

Hydration Recommendations

  • Drink 16 oz of water first thing in the morning      
  • Drink 8-16 oz of water every hour until practice or competition
  • Drink additional 8-16 oz 20 min prior to practice or competition
  • Ages 12-under drink 6-8 oz of water every 20 minutes during     practice or competition
  • Ages 13-older drink 10-12 oz of water every 20 minutes during practice or competition
  • Drink 4-8 oz of water every hour after practice or competition until bed
  • Avoid caffeinated drinks
  • Avoid carbonated drinks
  • Avoid alcoholic drinks        
  • Check color of urine to determine level of hydration

Practice Recommendations

  • Coaches should allow time for athletes to become acclimated to the heat

            - Lower intensities, shorter practices during first 4-5 practices

            - Gradual increases in intensities and practice duration after first 4-5 practices

  • Schedule practices in the morning or evening to avoid the day’s hottest temperatures
  • Allow breaks every 15-20 minutes to allow for water and rest in cool/shaded area
  • Run drills in groups to allow for recovery between repetitions
  • Provide coolers of wet towels for individuals to cool down with and in case of an illness
  • If a player looks stressed when exposed to the heat, immediately remove/substitute the individual and provide proper care 

Contact Us

Phone: (515)-286-3798
Fax: (515)-286-2033
Toll free: 866-209-1300
Email:
healthdept@polkcountyiowa.gov


Address: 1907, Carpenter Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50314