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Hot Weather Guidelines

Posted Monday, July 19, 2010 by NYSPHSAA

NYS & Heat Illness

The following are excerpts from a National Federation of State High School Associations publication sent to our member schools by the NYSPHSAA Safety Committee:

There are no excuses for heatstroke illnesses, if proper precautions are taken.

  • During hot weather athletes should be gradually acclimatized to higher temperatures.
  • Water should be available in unlimited quantities at all practices and contests.
  • In extremely hot & humid weather reduce the amount of clothing covering the body.
  • Check athlete weight daily: generally 3% weight loss through sweating is safe, over a 3% weight loss the athlete should not be allowed to practice in hot & humid conditions.
  • Observe your athletes carefully for signs of trouble.
  • Know what to do in case of an emergency and have emergency plans written for your staff.
  • Drink before, during and after practices and games.
  • Drink early – by the time you're thirsty, you're already dehydrated.
  • Dehyration usually occurs with a weight loss of 2 percent of body weight or more.
  • Within 2 hours, drink enough to replace any weight loss from exercise.
  • Salt should never be added to drinks, and salt tablets should be avoided.
  • Cool beverages at temperatures between 50-59° Fahrenheit are recommended.

Weather Guide for activities lasting 30 minutes or more:

Air Temp Danger Zone Critical Zone
70°F 80% RH 100% RH
75°F 70% RH 100% RH
80°F 50% RH 80% RH
85°F 40% RH 68% RH
90°F 30% RH 55% RH
95°F 20% RH 40% RH
100°F 10% RH 30% RH

RH = relative humidity

Measure wet bulb temperature with a sling psychometer prior to practices and adjust the intensity and duration accordingly:

Under 60° F Safe but always observe athletes
61-65° F Observe players carefully
66-70° F Caution
71-75° F Shorter practice sessions and more frequent water/rest breaks
75°+ F Danger level and extreme caution

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