KDHE encourages safe behavior in hot weather
High school fall sports practices begin Monday, and after a summer of record-high temperatures the Kansas Department of Health and Environment is encouraging school administrators, activities directors and coaches to be cautious in monitoring their student-athletes' health.
KDHE recently contacted the Kansas State High School Activities Association to stress the importance of staying safe during hot weather, not just during excessive heat warnings.
“No one wants harm to come to our children, but sometimes we may overlook the warning signs,” said Tom Langer, Director of Bureau of Environmental Health. “We are especially concerned that even as the temperatures decline out of triple-digit readings that the combination of temperature, relative humidity and exposure to the sun’s rays can negatively affect everyone’s health, especially student athletes and anyone participating in outdoor activities.”
Heat is the number one weather‐related killer in the United States and heat illness is the leading cause of preventable death in high school athletics. Other states have already seen student athletes die due to heat exhaustion. Before sending your child or player outside, keep these safety tips in mind:
— Make sure students drink fluids (water or sports drink) at least 30 minutes before the activity begins and every 15‐20 minutes during activity.
— Have them wear light‐colored, breathable clothing.
— Know the symptoms of heat-related illnesses, like heat rash, sunburns, heat cramps and heat exhaustion. More info at kdheks.gov/beh/extreme_heat.htm.