Opening Day, danger looms
By Jarann Johnson
The North Dakota High School Activities Association scheduled football’s opening day for August 13 this year and it’s one of the most dangerous times of the year. The football preseason is when players are at the highest risk of heat stroke, but it’s also a dangerous time for cross-country and volleyball athletes as well.
Between the 2005-2009 time period, the United States saw the most Heat Stroke related deaths for a five-year span in the past 35 years of organized sports.
The typical things done for players suffering or suspected to be suffering from heat illness are removing gear, clothes and moving to a shaded area.
For heat stroke, more active things like moving into an air-conditioned area and ice water immersion are better methods while waiting for EMS to take over.
Most believe that heat illness, heat exhaustion and heat stroke require hot or humid conditions to occur, but that’s untrue. All three can happen in the absence of heat or humidity. They are just more likely to happen in those conditions, so volleyball players need to be aware that they are still at risk.
The best way for players, coaches and parents to combat heat illness, heat exhaustion and heat stroke is reminding each other to get and stay hydrated. Athletes can be confident they are sufficiently hydrated if their urine is straw colored in appearance.