Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Heat Stress And Injury Among Young Athletes Can Be Prevented

Date:
August 20, 2005
Source:
Medical College of Georgia
Summary:
Progressively increasing practice time and intensity and ensuring that football players are replacing lost fluids during training are two ways to significantly reduce the risk of heat stress and injury during preseason practice, a recent expert panel convened by the American College of Sports Medicine found.

Dr. Michael F. Bergeron stands with Laney High School football players. Research has shown that progressively increasing practice time and intensity and ensuring that football players are replacing lost fluids during training can help prevent heat stress and injury. (Phil Jones photo)

Progressively increasing practice time and intensity and ensuring that football players are replacing lost fluids during training are two ways to significantly reduce the risk of heat stress and injury during preseason practice, a recent expert panel convened by the American College of Sports Medicine found.

Coaches also should allow enough recovery between practices and gradually introduce parts of the uniform, experts say.

Most high school and younger players are already fighting a losing battle when they show up to practice, says Dr. Michael F. Bergeron, panel co-chair and assistant professor of physical therapy at the Medical College of Georgia. The panel’s full statement and recommendations are published in the August issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

“What we’ve found is that most players typically begin practice dehydrated – pretty significantly dehydrated,” Dr. Bergeron says. “Young players generally just don’t drink enough, especially following extensive exercise or training in the heat.”

Surprisingly, though, hydration isn’t the most important aspect of preventing heat-related injuries. Players are often simply not acclimated to the environment, the intensity of practice and the uniform, he says.

“What coaches and staff need to recognize and appreciate is that the athletes are not coming into the preseason as well-conditioned as they might hope,” Dr. Bergeron says. “High school kids are going to be less fit and not only are they not accustomed to the physical exertion that workouts require, they’re not really acclimatized to the heat and working out in that environment, especially while wearing a uniform and protective gear.”

To help protect ill-prepared players, coaches should introduce a training schedule that progresses slowly – waiting until week two to introduce twice-daily conditioning and training sessions, experts say. They also should realize that adding a heavy uniform adds to the heat and strain players are already experiencing when weather conditions are unbearable. That can significantly add to the risk of heat injury.

“Most heat-related injuries and deaths occur within the first four days of practice, particularly on days one and two,” Dr. Bergeron says. “The primary factors for driving body temperature during practice and clinical risk related to overheating are the environment and the intensity/duration of the workouts and the uniform.”

During the first week of practice, protective equipment should be introduced in stages, starting with the helmet, progressing to shoulder pads and helmet and, finally, to the full uniform, the authors write.

Other suggestions include requiring a preseason exam to determine what medications and dietary supplements athletes are using and to rule out undiagnosed heart problems and other genetic risk factors. Also, twice-daily practice sessions, once introduced, should be staggered throughout the week to allow for at least a one-day break between multiple-session days.

And even if the temperature outside hasn’t reached the boiling point, players and coaches should still take precautions.

“What we are beginning to appreciate more and more is that it doesn’t have to be unbearably hot to have problems,” Dr. Bergeron says. “The focus of this is prevention.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Medical College of Georgia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Medical College of Georgia. "Heat Stress And Injury Among Young Athletes Can Be Prevented." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 August 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050819124921.htm>.
Medical College of Georgia. (2005, August 20). Heat Stress And Injury Among Young Athletes Can Be Prevented. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050819124921.htm
Medical College of Georgia. "Heat Stress And Injury Among Young Athletes Can Be Prevented." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050819124921.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) Conjoined twins Emmett and Owen Ezell were separated by doctors in August. Now, nearly nine months later, they're being released from the hospital. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins