APS Department of Athletics

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APS Heat Related Illness Prevention Guidelines and

School Based Emergency Plan

 GUIDELINES AND PREVENTION

Heat related illness can be controlled and or prevented by taking certain precautions. Specific heat conditions will determine activity restrictions during practice according to the heat index. The heat index will be the key source in determining if outside physical activities will be conducted. All APS middle and high schools are equipped with a Sky Scan Thermal Indicator/Heat index monitor. If you do not have a monitor please notify the Office of Athletics. The Heat index for your area can also be tracked at www.weather.weatherbug.com 24 hours a day.

 Symptoms of Heat Related Stress

                                                            Symptoms:                                                            What to do:

Heat Cramps

  • Tightening or spasms of muscles
  • Move to cooler area
  • Give water
  • Loosen clothing
  • Apply cool towels or compresses

Heat Exhaustion

 

  • Reduced or no sweating
  • Excessive thirst
  • Weakness
  • Head ache
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle cramps
  • Elevated skin and core body temperature
  • Give water
  • Move to cooler area
  • Loosen clothing
  • Apply cool towels or compresses

 

Heat stroke

  • Nausea
  • Seizures
  • Disorientation
  • Increase core temperature
  • Sweating stop and or hot skin
  • Rapid heart rate, rapid breathing
  • Fainting or passing out
  • Call 911
  • While waiting do not give to food or drink.
  • Apply ice/cool towels to groin area, underarms, neck and areas near large arties.
  • Move to shaded or cool area
  • Remove all equipment.

Preventive Strategies for Athletics, Physical Education and Marching band

1.            Water should be available in unlimited quantities.

2.             All students that participate in athletics must have an annual physical examination.

3.             Athletes should be weighed before and after practice. Weight loss of more than 3% of body weight increases the risk of a heat related illness.

4.             Students should drink water throughout the day and avoid drinks with sugar.

5.             Plan practices during the morning or late afternoon hours.

6.             Students that are recovering for illness, over weight, on medication or in poor condition should be monitored closely.

7.             Take frequent breaks for water and rest. Do not rely on thirst for water intake.

8.             Wear loose fitting, light colored, light weight clothing and sun screen (no tights).

9.             Provide shade when possible.

10.          Students should be gradually acclimated to the heat (usually take 7 to 10 days).

11.          Students with asthma must have their medication as prescribed and have breaks as requested or needed.

12.          Cold towels or compresses should be available during practices.

13.          Remove helmets during breaks.

14.          Develop a buddy system so that students check on each other to recognize early signs

15.          Do not use salt tablets.

16.          No sprints or excessively strenuous drills in extreme heat conditions.

17.          HAVE A HEAT RELATED ILLNESS EMERGENCY PLAN.

    • Charged cell phone
    • Specific direction for ambulance
    • Parent/guardian information for students readily available.

18.          Heat related stress is more like to occur with:

    • High Humidity
    • Children starting first day of Sports and Band Practice in the summer months
    • Athletes who spend most of the summertime indoors in air conditioning and them workout outdoors on hot, humid days.
    • Heavily clothed or padded athletes.
    • Artificial turf surfaces, which can be hotter that natural surfaces
    • Children with pre existing conditions.
PART 2 LOCAL SCHOOL PREVENTION PLAN

Every APS middle and high school must have an emergency Heat related Illness emergency plan that addresses the following items:

  •  Time of day that practices are held in relation to the heat index
  • The ratio of workout time to time allotted for rest and hydration at the various heat index levels ( i.e. length of practice and number of breaks as they relate to heat index)
  • The heat index level that practices will be cancelled or results indoor only practices (see heat index chart).

 A copy of the plan shall be maintained at each school and be available to the GHSA (high schools) and APS Department of Health, Physical Education and Athletics.

Heat Related Illness Prevention Chart

The chart below is based on the readings as outlined on the Sky scan monitor.

 

Heat Index Value

Heat Index Value

Heat Index Value

Heat Index Value

 

 

 

 

Activity

 

80-89 F

Caution

Heat Fatigue is Possible

 

90-104 F

Extreme Caution

Sunstroke, Muscle Cramps, and or exhaustion possible.

 

105-129 F

Danger

Sunstroke, Muscle Cramps, and or exhaustion likely

 

130 F or higher

Extreme Danger

Sunstroke, Muscle Cramps, and or exhaustion highly likely.

Football

·         Practices will have water breaks 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.

·          Athletes should remove helmets whenever possible

·         Practices will have 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.

·         Later evening practice or early morning

 

NO OUTSIDE PRACTICE

 

NO OUTSIDE PRACTICE OR ACTIVITY ALLOWED

Cross Country/

Track

 

 

 

 

 

Cross Country and Track Cont.

·         Long distance runners must run 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 should be given every 30 minutes with a 5 minute rest time.

·          Practice will not exceed 2 hours of total heat exposure.

·         Weight players before and after practice.

·         Runners must stay on campus and/or within a park where they can be monitored by the coach.

·         Water breaks will occur every 20 minutes with a 5 minute total rest time.

·         Practice time will not exceed 1.5 hours of total exposure

·         Weigh players before and after practice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NO OUTSIDE PRACTICE

 

NO OUTSIDE PRACTICE OR ACTIVITY ALLOWED

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.

·         Shaded area if possible

 

·         Players will be required to take a water break every 20 minutes with 5 minutes of total rest time.

·         Practice will not exceed 1.5 hours of total heat exposure.

 

NO OUTSIDE PRACTICE

 

NO OUTSIDE PRACTICE OR ACTIVITY ALLOWED

Marching Band and Auxiliaries

·         Practices will have water breaks every 30 minutes.

·         Practice will not exceed 2 hours of total heat exposure.

·         Open water policy during entire practice.

·          

·         Practices will have water breaks every 20 minutes.

·         Practice will not exceed 1.5 hours of total heat exposure.

·         Open water policy during entire practice

 

NO OUTSIDE PRACTICE

 

NO OUTSIDE PRACTICE OR ACTIVITY ALLOWED

Cheerleaders

·         Practices will have water breaks every 30 minutes.

·         Practice will not exceed 2 hours of total heat exposure.

·         Open water policy during entire practice

·         Practices will have water breaks every 20 minutes.

·         Practice will not exceed 1.5 hours of total heat exposure.

·         Open water policy during entire practice

 

NO OUTSIDE PRACTICE

 

NO OUTSIDE PRACTICE OR ACTIVITY ALLOWED

Physical Education Classes

·         Students must have water breaks every 30 minutes.

·         Open water policy during entire class.

 

 

·         Students must have water breaks every 20 minutes.

·         Open water policy during entire practice

 

NO OUTSIDE PRACTICE

 

NO OUTSIDE PRACTICE OR ACTIVITY ALLOWED

The Atlanta Public Schools Department of Athletics reserves the right to cancel any outdoor activity due to extreme heat temperatures.

References

·         The National Athletic Trainers Association

·         Zinder, S.M. and Shultz, S.J. Heat-Related Issues. National Federation of State High School Associations, Resource Document. http://www.nfhs.org

·         Parents’ and Coaches’ Guide to Dehydration and Other Heat Illnesses in Children.” National Athletic Trainers’ Association. June 2003. 2006

·         Georgia High School Association, WWW.GHSA.net

·         National High School Federation (NHSF). “Recommendation for Hydration to Prevent Heat Illness

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