As warm weather approaches, here are a few tips to keep your kids safe during Summer Sports Activities:

1. Stay Properly Hydrated

Kids are especially prone to getting dehydrated because they are often too busy enjoying the outdoors and can forget to drink water or sports beverages. The problem becomes more pronounced in hot weather when even more fluids are required to stay properly hydrated. Drinking before, during, and after a physical activity is crucial for maximum performance. One way to monitor fluid loss is by weighing yourself before and after you exercise. For every pound you lose, drink about 2 ½ cups (20 ounces) to 3 cups (24 ounces) of fluid. Immediate weight reduction is water loss, not fat loss. Another way to monitor adequate fluid replacement is to make sure the urine is clear to pale yellow. If urine is very dark and has little volume this is a sign that fluids need to be replaced.

3. Respect the sun

Whether you are competing in a soccer match or running a marathon, it is very important to wear sunscreen to avoid a major sunburn that can cause not only temporary discomfort but long term health risks. Your skin can get sunburned in as little as a few minutes without proper protection. To avoid sunburn, get a sunscreen that is sweat and water resistant and apply liberally throughout your body.  Try to reapply at least every two hours. Also try to avoid the midday sun if possible or use extra sunsecreen since midday can cause the most damage to your skin.

4. Avoid Heat Related Illnesses

Athletes are especially prone to heat-related illness such as dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke while exercising in hot weather. Most serious heat illness in athletes can be prevented by following basic guidelines on proper hydration and nutrition, replacing lost electrolytes, using sunscreen, avoiding the hottest time during the day if possible and wearing appropriate clothing. If guidelines are ignored, they may progress into a life-threatening heat emergency and possibly death.

5. Take special precautions in the outdoor activities

Biking, skateboarding and inline skating can be a lot of fun and great exercise during the warm weather, but these activities cause thousands of injuries every year.  According to the Children’s Safety Network, children under 15 account for more than half of all bicycle injuries in emergency rooms.  Many of those injuries can be prevented by always wearing appropriate head gear.  Common skateboarding and inline skating injuries include the knees, wrists, elbows, head and face.  Wearing a protective helmet along with wrist, knee, and elbow guards are proven modes of protection to stay injury free.

activitiesTips provided by Shelley Street Callender, MD, pediatrician at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan.  Dr. Street is fellowship-trained in primary care sports medicine.  For more tips visit HERE.