Summer heat claimed the lives of three young football players last week. On Tuesday, August 2, 2011, a 16-year-old Georgia boy was found dead in his cabin at football camp. Hours later, another 16-year-old from Georgia died after being hospitalized a week for heat exhaustion after he collapsed at football practice. Just days before, a 14-year-old from South Carolina collapsed at a 101 degree practice session and died a short while later. These unfortunate deaths paint a startling picture of the amount of damage that extreme heat plus physical activity can do to a young athlete.
Sports-Related Heat Deaths
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heat-related illnesses that strike during a sport or recreational activity send nearly 6,000 people in the U.S. to emergency rooms every year.
- Males accounted for 72.5% of these ER visits.
- Young people made up the majority of visitors.
- The age group accounting for the highest number of visits was 15 to 19 year-olds. The second highest number of visits came from 10 to 14 year-olds.
- The most common activity leading to these ER visits was football.
Safety Tips for Athletes
Information below provided by the CDC.
- Limit outdoor activity midday
- Wear and reapply sunscreen
- Drink more water than usual and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink more
- Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing
- Monitor a teammate’s condition, and have someone do the same for you
- Coaches should schedule workouts and practices early or late in the day avoiding peak sunlight hours.
- Coaches should help players acclimate to the heat by starting with shorter practices before building up to regular sessions.
Contact An Experienced Child Injury Attorney
At Thomas J. Henry, we have the experience and resources to handle your child’s case. If your child has been the victim of a serious injury, contact our offices. We are available 24/7, nights and weekends.