With temperatures soaring to new heights, it’s more important than ever to keep our littlest participants safe and cool while their home runs soar to new heights.
At the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City, safety is our first priority, so games are cancelled when it gets too cold or too warm, over 105-degrees or below 35-degrees. But when you find yourself sitting in the stands when the weather is in-between but still a bit warm, here are our best recommendations for keeping your little slugger safe.
Discuss the Dangers of Heat Illness
Talk with your children about the dangers of heat illness. Explain that they should drink and rest more when it’s warm. Most importantly make sure they know the symptoms of heat illness and they to speak up if they feel ill.
Keep Cold Towels Handy
Stay cool on and off the field during summer with cold or frozen towels. You can purchase special cooling towels, or place wet washcloths in a cooler full of ice to keep them nice and cold. Encourage your athlete to apply the towels during breaks to their body’s cooling spots.
Forget “head, shoulders, knees and toes” in the summer and replace with the human body’s cooling spots instead. “Neck, elbows, wrist and knees, plus your feet” doesn’t make the best song but they are the best places to cool your body down in high temperatures. In addition to wash cloths, you can keep a spray bottle of water handy.
Hydration is Key
You can never have enough water! Ensure that players can have a drink of water at every opportunity. Certain sports drinks are okay but be sure to alternate with water so that they can hydrate without the extra sugar. Don’t just hydrate during the game, keep your kiddos hydrated by make sure they drink plenty of water before and after activities.
When you do opt for a sports drink check out the ingredients. Sports drinks contain electrolytes—including potassium, sodium, magnesium, and calcium—to help combat dehydration. They work with your body to improve the absorption of fluid and replenish mineral losses. Look for a sports drink that contains at least sodium and potassium. Try to avoid sports drinks with a lot of sugar or artificial sweeteners.
A Little Shade Goes A Long Way
Whenever possible, player should get out of the direct sun and go for shade. Sitting in the shade can make the air feel like it’s 10 to 15 degrees cooler. When sports complexes don’t offer a lot of shade, consider bringing a chair with a topper, a blanket with an umbrella or a canopy with you where allowed.