We are in full “back-to-school” mode. School sports are starting up, again, too. And there are SO many health issues that kids (and sometimes parents and coaches) don’t know about or just don’t want to think about. Let’s look at just a couple….
Heat and hydration: We of the Phoenix valley must take heat and hydration into account most of the year, but in the summer months most especially. Our valley is hot and dry nine months out of the year.
#1 Drink half your weight in ounces of water every day. That means that someone who weighs 100lbs, should drink 50 ounces of water each and every normal day. If someone weighs 150lbs, then they should be drinking 75 ounces of water each and every normal day. 75 ounces is approximately, 4 standard, store-bought water bottles. Most people think it’s ok to drink when they are thirsty. Actually, if we wait to drink until we are thirsty, it’s already too late.
#2 If someone is going to be in the heat or exercising, they need to drink even more. Kids and teens tend to fight this. They just don’t realize how important water is to the body. Parents and coaches must push the issue with them and find creative ways to encourage fluids. Gatorade type beverages may be of some use, especially, when they are exercising. Popsicles can be very effective, as well.
#3 Take breaks to cool off when out in the heat. Periodic breaks in the shade are ideal. Having water or cool rags to wet themselves is helpful, too.
#4 Learn the symptoms of heat or dehydration.
- dry lips or tongue
- no longer thirsty
- altered mental status
- red, warm, moist skin
- nausea or vomitting
- muscle aches or cramps
#5 Learn what to do. If someone is showing the above signs and symptoms, the first thing is to cool them off, if necessary, and help them hydrate. Rest. Lots of sips of water or Gatorade-type beverages. If these things are not working, then seek medical attention.
Concussions: With most sports, comes the possibility of a concussion. Some sports more than others. A concussion is a brain injury. Serious stuff! Helmets, of course, should be used whenever p0ssible. Learn the signs and symptoms of concussions. Learn how to teach kids to be safe. Below are a couple of links with great information.
- CDC – Recognize http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/sports/recognize.html
- Football sensor http://www.theshockbox.com/products-page/football/football-sensor/
Sports should be a fun part of growing up. And, with education and preparation, that’s exactly what this blogger hopes will happen – growing up minus the serious injuries.