The Huddle

Summer Heat - Your Unseen Opponent

Posted: 08-05-2011 | Categories: Cross Country - Boys, Cross Country - Girls, Football, LHSADA, LHSCA, Administrators, Parents & Students

Summer Heat - Your Unseen Opponent

It’s preseason time here in Louisiana, but Mother Nature must have missed the memo!  With temperatures steadily in the triple digits and afternoon thunderstorms, fall athletes are not only gearing up to face their rivals, they are also fighting the weather.  According to a recent study, deaths of high school athletes due to extreme weather have been on the rise for the past few years.  We love our sports, but we love our student-athletes even more!  Here are some warning signs that can help keep you healthy and safe so you can keep scoring big on and off the field!


Some athletes are allergic to the great outdoors! The most common allergy triggers for athletes in Louisiana are grass and pollen, so here are some signs to look for when an athlete has an allergic reaction.

- Itchy eyes
- Sneezing
- Nasal Congestion
- Swollen eyes
- Hives


Athletes work very hard in practice and in games, so it is very important to replenish your body with water and sports drinks.  If athletes don’t refuel, they can become dehydrated.  When there is more water leaving your body than entering, you can quickly become dehydrated. 

- No sweating
- Dry mouth
- Cramping muscles
- Nausea
- Vomiting
- Light headed


When an athlete is exercising and practicing in the summer heat, he or she may not be able to produce enough sweat to keep his or her body cool.  This usually happens when the athlete is not drinking enough water.

- Sweating
- Weakness or fatigue
- Cramping muscles
- Headaches
- Nausea
- Vomiting


An athlete can suffer a heat stroke if heat exhaustion is not handled properly.  Heat stroke occurs when an athlete’s body temperature reaches 104 F or higher!  It is a very serious medical emergency that can be fatal if improperly treated. 

- Weakness of fatigue
- Cramping muscles
- Headaches
- Nausea
- Vomiting
- Dizziness
- No sweat, but hot and dry skin
- Rapid pulse
- Strange behavior (i.e. hallucinations, agitation, confusion)
- Seizure
- Coma


⇒  Remember to drink a lot of water and sports drinks before, during, and after practice
⇒ Try to stay away from sugar filled drinks
⇒ Use sunblock
⇒ Eat a healthy snack before practice and games
⇒ Stay in the shade as much as possible
⇒ Take breaks when needed
⇒ Visit your doctor to learn if you have any allergies that can be triggered on or off of the court
⇒ There’s no I in team!  Familiarize yourself with these symptoms and keep an eye on your teammates.  If a teammate has any of these symptoms, tell an adult immediately!


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