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Dehydration and Youth Sports

   As the warmer days of lacrosse are approaching and you're sweltering in the stands at one of our games and/or practices, imagine what it's like for our players. Too many times this season, we have told the players to take a water break and many of them will say they don’t have any water with them. There is no excuse why they should be coming to games and practices empty handed.
  Children don't adapt as well as adults do to exercise in hot, humid weather. They produce more heat, sweat less and may be less likely to drink enough fluids during exercise — all of which increase the risk of dehydration. In turn, dehydration can lead to heat-related illnesses, such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Any child who exercises in the heat may be at risk of dehydration. The concern is often greatest for young athletes who participate in sports, especially ones that wear full protective gear.
   During hot and humid conditions, it is very important that the players drink plenty of fluids before practice and during regular beverage breaks — even if they aren't thirsty. Even mild dehydration can affect your child's athletic performance and make him lethargic and irritable. Left untreated, dehydration increases the risk of other heat-related illnesses, including heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heatstroke.
   Please talk with your child and tell them to let a coach know if they feel any of these early warning signs of dehydration: dry or sticky mouth, thirst, headache, dizziness, cramps, or excessive fatigue.
Prevention is Key
   Since we will be playing in hot weather, please encourage your son to drink plenty of fluids before, during and after practices and games. Teach your child the signs and symptoms of dehydration, as well as the importance of speaking up if they occur.
The MJL Board