It's August, football practice has started, and it's in the mid 90's with high humidity. So, lets strap on layers of pads and a helmet and exercise in the sun!
Sounds odd when you read it that way, doesn't it? As I type this in NJ, weather reports are filling the airwaves warning about the elderly, children in cars, and suggestions to stay hydrated. Yet, our children are in two-a-day strength and cardio training sessions to prepare for the upcoming football season. Here's the question every parent should ask the coach:
What are you doing to protect my child from overheating?
My guess? Probably a drink of water and that's it. When I played high school football, we drank from a hose a few times per session and that's it. Unfortunately, little has changed other than some coaches receiving some training on how to recognize signs of heat related injury. So, as a parent, what can you do to help?
1) Understand signs of heat exhaustion
Dark-colored urine (a sign of dehydration)
Muscle or abdominal cramps.
Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
2) Teach your children what to look for and remind them to ask for water no matter what!
3) Express your concerns! Any good coach should be more worried about the safety of your child then the old fashioned ideas of toughness.
4) Get proper training gear. Business Insider put together a nice list of companies and products with a focus on heat reduction and athletics. Also, check out Mission for tons of additional options. One challenge with almost all of these products is that they won't work in high humidity. These products rely on evaporation to cool and if the humidity is too high, the sweat or water won't evaporate and it won't cool the athlete.
5) Use active cooling gear. Although not available yet, Kryofit Sport will be launching a line of cooling gear that cools the athlete no matter what. Active cooling is taking the initiative rather than waiting for passive cooling through evaporation and shade. Kryofit employs direct cooling while the athlete trains without adding weight or restricting movement. It's quite literally, the coolest athletic gear out there!
Bottom line, the key to keeping kids safe in the heat is education. From the parents, kids, and coaches, everyone needs to be on the same page to keep your kids safe and having fun!
For more information on the coming launch of Kryofit Sport, sign up for updates on the website here.