Football Players & Heat Stroke

Posted July 17 2012

 

Football players and heat stroke has been an important topic throughout the athletic community, as each year, football players training in the off season suffer heat stroke and other dangerous heat-related illnesses.  The concern surrounding football players and heat stroke is very real, and has been the focus of many public forums and conversations among teams because of the number of heat-related injuries and fatalities among athletes. When it comes to football players and heat stroke, coaches, players and their parents can all be prepared to prevent problems out on the field. 

For football players and other athletes, heat stroke is a situation that should be handled quickly and seriously.  Heat stroke can be fatal when treatment is delayed, and football players are at a higher risk for the condition.  The heavy equipment, the long workouts and the frequency of the workouts and practice games make football players and heat stroke something that can be difficult to avoid. 

To avoid the risks associated with football players and heat stroke, athletes should take some common-sense steps when working in hot, humid weather conditions.  Health professionals suggest that preparation is key when it comes to preventing more cases of football players and heat stroke.  Football players should be prepared with plenty of water, light colored clothing and areas of shade for rest periods.  While sports drinks can be beneficial, it’s often easier for teams to have access to a large cooler of ice water at all times during practice.  Players should drink throughout the practice session, even if they aren’t thirsty, to ensure adequate hydration. 

Coaches and other staff should always monitor the health of their players, as it’s not always apparent to the individual that they are in trouble until they suddenly start to feel the effects of heat stroke.  Monitoring atmospheric conditions with a handheld weather meter is also a good way to keep payers healthy.  There are a few meters out there that measure a variety of atmospheric conditions, including those that most affect athletes, such as relative humidity, wet bulb temperature and wind direction.  A weather meter can be set up to sound alarms when conditions become too dangerous to practice in, allowing players and coaches to take a break until things cool down to a safe level.

The seriousness of football players and heat stroke is something that all players and staff need to take into consideration.  Weather conditions that may seem mild to some can result in serious problems for football players who frequently over-exert themselves during practices in an effort to build endurance.  Running through endless drills, mock games and other exercises day after day can take a toll on football players of average age.  From junior high and high school kids, to college and professional football players, heat stroke is a very real medical condition that is also highly preventable.  By taking the proper precautions, football players can train safely in preparation for this year’s big football season.