MHSAA provides information about heat stress and athletic participation

Published 12:34 pm Saturday, August 9, 2003

By Staff
EAST LANSING -- With the approach of another high school sports season comes the potential for high summer temperatures, and the Michigan High School Athletic Association continues its role in providing its member schools educational materials to assist them in minimizing the possibility of heat-related catastrophic injuries to student-athletes.
The topic of heat-related injuries receives a lot of attention at this time of year, especially when deaths at the professional, collegiate and interscholastic levels of sport occur. Each Spring, the MHSAA has provided information to its member schools to help them prepare for hot weather practice and game conditions in the late Summer and early Fall.
"Heat Stress &Athletic Participation" is information from the National Federation of State High School Associations which the MHSAA annually distributes to schools for use by all fall sports teams. The information points out that student-athletes are subject to a variety of maladies from heat cramps to heat strokes at this time of year. Preventative steps are outlined, as well as a table describing the combination of relative humidity and air temperature impact on athletic activities.
A copy of the information is available on the MHSAA Web site –
"Even with the comparatively mild summer we have experienced so far, the potential always exists for some kind of heat-related physical issues," said John R. Johnson, communications director for the MHSAA. "The bottom line here is the hydration of athletes. It is an absolute necessity that water be available in unlimited quantities at all times during practices. At the same time, coaching staffs need to be tuned into their student-athletes and be sure they are partaking of water. If schools and their student-athletes follow these guidelines, then we minimize the risk for heat-related problems."
Johnson added that as student-athletes work out on their own individually or with a group of teammates in informal settings during the summer, that they need to be aware of their hydration.