Heat Policy/Cold Weather Policy

heatHeat Illness

According to the Center for Disease Control, heat illness during practice or competition is the leading cause of death among US high school athletes. In order to be proactive the Los Fresnos Sports Medicine and Athletic Department has instituted a heat policy to activate as the temperature and heat index rises. 

Key Terms and Definitions:

Heat Cramps: Heat cramps are muscular pain and spasm due to heavy exertion and dehydration. Heat cramps usually involve the abdominal muscles or legs, and it is generally thought that dehydration is the cause.

Heat Exhaustion: Heat exhaustion typically occurs when people exercise heavily or work in a warm, humid environment where body fluids are lost through heavy sweating. Fluid loss causes blood flow to decrease in the vital organs, resulting in a form of shock.

Heat Stroke: Heat stroke is life threatening. The victim’s temperature-control system, which produces sweating to cool the body, stops working. The body temperature can rise so high that brain damage and death may result if the body is not cooled quickly. Any heat stroke victim must be quickly cooled and referred for advanced medical attention. Dehydration: When fluid loss exceeds fluid intake.

Effects of Dehydration: Dehydration can affect an athlete’s performance in less than an hour of exercise—sooner if the athlete begins the session dehydrated Dehydration of just 1%-2% of body weight (only 1.5-3 lbs. for a 150lb. athlete) can negatively influence performance Dehydration of greater than 3% of body weight increases an athlete’s risk of heat illness (heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat stroke)

Warning Signs of Dehydration: Recognize the basic signs of dehydration

  • Thirst
  • Irritability
  • Headache
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Cramps
  • Nausea 

Heat Policy

Specific heat conditions will determine activity restrictions during practice according to the following:

100 F-104 F Temperature and/or Heat Index 105 F–110F

Football: shorts and shoulder pads workout

     ·         Football teams will be in shorts and shoulder pads   
     ·         Water breaks occurs every 30 minutes  
     ·         Each break will be 5 minutes of total rest time with helmets off.  
     ·         Practice will not exceed 2 hours of total heat exposure.  
     ·         Open water policy during entire practice. 
     ·         Helmet removal encouraged while not in contact drills.

Football: full pads workout 

     ·         Water breaks every 20 minutes. 
     ·         Each break will be 5 minutes of total rest time with helmets off.  
     ·         Practice will not exceed 1.5 hours of total heat exposure.  
     ·         Open water policy during entire practice.
     ·         Helmet removal encouraged while not in contact drills.

Cross Country Workouts/ Men’s and Women’s Track

     ·         Long distance runners have to stay on campus and/or within a park where they can be seen by the coaches.
     ·         Athletes cannot run routes where a coach cannot see the athletes running.
     ·         Water breaks will occur every 30 minutes with a 5 minute total rest time.
     ·         Practice will not exceed 2 hours of total heat exposure. 
     ·         Track and field athletes will take a 5 minutes break every 30 minutes, athletes should be off their feet.

Baseball, Softball, Soccer and Tennis 

     ·         Players will be required to take a water break every 30 minutes with 5 minutes of total rest time.
     ·         Practice will not exceed 2 hours of total heat exposure.

Offseason programs

     ·         45 minutes of total heat exposure with 1 water break during this time.

105 F – 106 F Temperature and/or Heat Index 111 F-115 F

Football 

     ·         Shorts and shoulder pad practices only. 
     ·         Breaks will occur every 20 minutes.
     ·         Breaks will be 5 minutes of total rest time.
     ·         Workout will be 2 hours of total heat exposure.
     ·         A 1 minute station break every 2 five minute periods.
     ·         Athletes will stay at the station they are working, and staff and student athletic trainers will water the athletes.

Cross Country Workouts/ Men’s and Women’s Track 

     ·         Runners have to stay on campus and/or within a park where they can be seen by the coaches.
     ·         Athlete cannot run routes where a coach cannot see the athletes running
     ·         Water breaks will occur every 20 minutes with a 5 minute total rest time.
     ·         Practice will not exceed 2 hours of total heat exposure.

Baseball, Softball, Soccer and Tennis 

     ·         Players will be required to take a water break every 20 minutes with 5 minutes of total rest time. 
     ·         Practice will not exceed 2 hours of total heat exposure.

Offseason workouts

     ·         30 minutes of total heat exposure with 1 water break during this time

107 F-109 F Temperature and/or Heat Index of 116 to 117 F

Football 

     ·         Shorts, shirt, and helmets only. 
     ·         Breaks will occur every 20 minutes.
     ·         Workout will be limited to 1.5 hours of total heat exposure.
     ·         Open water policy during entire workout.

Cross Country workouts/ Men’s and Women’s Track 

     ·         Runners have to stay on campus and/or within a park where they can be    seen by the coaches.
     ·         Athlete cannot run routes where a coach cannot see the athletes running. 
     ·         Water breaks will occur every 15 minutes with a 5 minute total rest time.
     ·         Practice will not exceed 1.5 hours of total heat exposure.

Baseball, Softball, Soccer and Tennis

     ·         Tennis players will be required to take a water break every 20 minutes with 5 minutes of total rest time. 
     ·         Practice will not exceed 2 hours of total heat exposure.

Off season workouts

     ·         30 minutes of total heat exposure with 1 water break during this time.

110 F or higher Temperature and or Heat Index higher than 118 F

     ·         No outside practice allowed in any sport

 

Junior High School: (No Medical Staff Available)

100 F – 104 F and/or a Heat Index of 100 F-110 F

Football: shorts and shoulder pads workouts

     ·         Water breaks will occur every 20 minutes.
     ·         Each break will be 5 minutes of total rest time with helmets off. 
     ·         Practice will not exceed 2 hours of total heat exposure
     ·         Open water policy during entire practice. 
     ·         Helmet removal encouraged while not in contact drills.

Football: Pads Workout

     ·         Water breaks every 20 minutes. 
     ·         Each break will be 5 minutes of total rest time with helmets off. 
     ·         Practice will not exceed 1.5 hours of total heat exposure.
     ·         Open water policy during entire practice. 
     ·         Helmet removal encouraged while not in contact drills.

All other sports

     ·         Runners have to stay on campus and/or within a park where they can be seen by the coaches.
     ·         Athlete cannot run routes where a coach cannot see the athletes running.
     ·         Water breaks will occur every 15 minutes with a 5minute total rest time.
     ·         Practice will not exceed 1.5 hours of total heat exposure

Off season workouts 

     ·         30 minutes of total heat exposure with 1 water break during this time.

105 or higher Temperature and/or Heat Index of 110 or higher 

     ·        
No outdoor practice allowed in any sport


Cold Weather Policy

Cold exposure can be uncomfortable, impair performance and even become life-threatening. Hypothermia, a significant drop in body temperature, occurs with rapid cooling, exhaustion and energy depletion. Hypothermia frequently occurs at temperatures above freezing. A wet and windy 30 –50 degree exposure may be as serious as a subzero exposure. For this reason it is important to use the wind chill factor not the ambient temperature. Wind speed interacts with ambient temperature to significantly increase body cooling.

Prevention: Clothing is one of the most important parts of keeping the athlete’s body warm.

     ·         Athletic should dress in layers and try and stay dry. 
     ·         Athletes should use a wind block garment to avoid wind chill during workouts. 
     ·         Athletes should dress in layers and try to stay dry. Athletes should layer themselves with wicking fabric next to the body, followed by lightweight pile or wool layers for warmth.  
     ·         Head and neck should be covered to prevent heat loss
     ·         Extremities should be covered to protect from the wind chill.

Cold Exposure

     ·         Breathing of cold air can trigger asthma attack (bronchospasm) 
     ·         Coughing, chest tightness, burning sensation in throat and nasal passage
     ·         Reduction of strength, power, endurance, and aerobic capacity 
     ·         Core body temperature reduction, causing reduction of motor output

Cold Recognition

     ·         Shivering, a means for the body to generate heat. Excessive shivering contributes to fatigue, loss of motor skills 
     ·         Numbness and pain in fingers, toes, ears, and exposed facial tissue 
     ·         Drop in core temperature; athlete exhibits sluggishness, slowed speech, disoriented

High School Athletics Cold Weather Policies:

Temperature of 33°F-35°F and/or Wind Chill Factor of 33°F-35°F with precipitation:

     ·         35 minutes of exposure/20 minutes inside gym (may return outside after 20 minutes) 
     ·         35 minutes exposure/20 minutes inside 
     ·         Dry clothing (socks, gloves) 
     ·         Athletes must be dressed in warm-ups with extremities covered

Temperature of 32°F or lower and/or Wind Chill Factor of 32°F or lower with precipitation:

     ·         All practices will be inside 
     ·         No outside exposure

Temperature of 31°F-32°F and/or Wind Chill Factor 31°F-32°F (DRY):

     ·         45 minutes exposure/ 15 minutes inside gym 
     ·         Athletes must be in warm-ups with extremities covered

Temperature of 30°F or lower and/or Wind Chill Factor of 30°F or lower (Dry):

     ·         30 minutes of total exposure to chill factor 
    
·         15 minutes inside 
     ·         Warm-ups must be worn at all times, extremities covered

Temperature of 25°F or lower and/or Wind Chill Factor of 25°F or lower:

     ·         No outside practices 
     ·         All work must be inside  


Junior High Athletics Cold Weather Policies:

Temperature of 45°F or lower and/or Wind Chill Factor of 45°F or lower with precipitation:

     ·         35 minutes of exposure/20 minutes inside gym (may return outside after 20 minutes) 
     ·         35 minutes exposure/20 minutes inside 
     ·         Dry clothing (socks, gloves)
     ·         Athletes must be dressed in warm-ups with extremities covered

Temperature of 34°F or lower and/or Wind Chill Factor of 34°F or lower (DRY):

     ·         45 minutes exposure/ 15 minutes inside gym 
     ·         Athletes must be in warm-ups with extremities covered

Temperature of 38°F and/or Wind Chill Factor of 38°F with precipitation:

     ·         All practices will be inside 
     ·         No outside exposure

Temperature of 35°F and/or Wind Chill Factor of 35°F (Dry):

     ·         30 minutes of total exposure to chill factor 15 minutes inside 
     ·         Warm-ups must be worn at all times, extremities covered

Temperature of 30°F and/or Wind Chill Factor of 30°F:

     ·         No outside practice

 


 
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