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Parents' and Coaches' Guide to Dehydration and Other Heat Illnesses in Children (page 3)

— National Association for Sport and Physical Education
Updated on Jul 26, 2007

Tips for Parents

  • Before your child starts playing a sport, he or she should have a physical examination that includes specific questions about any history of heat illness.
  • Tell your child’s coach about any history of heat illness.
  • Make sure your child is properly hydrated before he or she heads out the door to practice or a game. Give your children their own water bottles.
  • Make sure your child’s coach has your emergency contact numbers.
  • Check that your child’s league/team has an emergency action plan.

Tips for Coaches

  • Be aware of temperature and humidity levels. Change practice length, intensity and equipment use as the levels rise.
  • It should be easy for children to drink fluids during practice, and you should remind them to drink regularly. Fluid breaks should be scheduled for all practices and become more frequent as the heat and humidity levels rise.
  • Every athletic organization should have an emergency action plan for obtaining emergency medical services if needed.
  • Always have contact information for parents available.

Activity Guidelines

Fluid breaks should be scheduled for all practices and become more frequent as the heat and humidity levels rise. Add 5°F to the temperature between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. from mid-May to mid-September on bright, sunny days.

  • Children should receive a 5-10 minute rest and fluid break after every 25 to 30 minutes of activity.
  • Children should receive a 5-10 minute rest and fluid break after every 20 to 25 minutes of activity. Children should be in shorts and t-shirts (with helmet and shoulder pads only, not full equipment, if worn for activity).
  • Children should receive a 5-10 minute rest and fluid break after every 15 to 20 minutes of activity. Children should be in
    shorts and t-shirts only (with all protective equipment removed, if worn for activity).
  • Cancel or postpone all outdoor practices/games. Practice may be held in an air-conditioned space.

This document was adapted from: Inter-Association task force on exertional heat illnesses consensus statement. June 2003. National Athletic Trainers’ Association. The full document can be obtained at www.nata.org/industryresources/heatillnessconsensusstatement.pdf.

To learn more about the National Association for Sport and Physical Education, click http://www.aahperd.org/NASPE/

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