How athletes can combat heat illness as temperatures rise

Local Sports

JOPLIN, Mo. — As the temperatures outside start to rise, it’s important for athletes and coaches to prepare themselves for the heat, which includes preventing heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Stephen Kim, an athletic trainer at Missouri Southern State University says symptoms like nausea, headache and fatigue can indicate heat exhaustion, while more serious symptoms like fading in and out of consciousness and cognitive problems could mean heat stroke. To prevent that from happening, he says athletes should drink at least 32 ounces of water two hours before practice, and 32 ounces every hour they’re outside.

Kim also recommends coaches schedule times in their practices for water breaks to help prevent heat illness.

Kim says, “You can avoid of those complications. It’s not just about how well your team does in the way you practice. You’re saving lives, right? Heat stroke, that’s life and death sometimes, and that’s really important for parents, coaches, and the athletes to be aware of those things to be proactive about it instead of reactive.”

If an athlete starts feeling weak or showing signs of heat illness during practice, they should immediately stop what they’re doing and let their coach and training staff know.

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