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Keeping Young Athletes Safe in Texas Heat

August 30, 2011

AUSTIN, Texas - Texas pupils who participate in school sports and marching band need to take extra precautions this year because of the record-breaking heat. Experts advise parents and school coaches to make sure kids are physically prepared for rigorous activities.

Meri-K Appy, president of SAFE KIDS USA, says it's important to see that young athletes are hydrated before, during and after games and practices.

"Especially right before they're going to play, 30 minutes or so, your athlete needs at least 12 ounces of liquids. If it's going to be a really tough workout, consider adding electrolytes or sodium through sports drinks."

Appy says that, before participating in sports, young athletes should get medical exams to confirm that they're healthy enough for strenuous physical activity. She adds that it's also important to take a good look at all equipment, such as helmets, to see that it fits properly and is in good condition.

Appy says it's important for parents, coaches and even pupils to know signs of health problems and injuries. Sometimes what may look like a simple fall on the field could be a lot more serious and require immediate medical attention.

"Be on the lookout for more serious injuries, like concussion. Recognize the symptoms and know not only how to prevent them by playing according to the rules, but know how to react if you suspect one has occurred."

Appy says millions of sports-related injuries are reported every year, and most are preventable. The American Academy of Pediatrics has released a new list of guidelines this month, which can be found on the Academy's website at
www.aap.org

Peter Malof, Public News Service - TX