By Cassie Hataway | email
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - School may be out for summer, but some students are already back on the field training for next year. Parents should know the National Athletic Trainers Association has released these new guidelines to make sure young student athletes stay safe and protect themselves against heat-related injuries.
National Athletic Trainers Association Guidelines:
1. During the first five days of the heat-acclimatization process, athletes may not participate in more than one practice per day.
2. If a practice is interrupted by inclement weather or heat restrictions, the practice should recommence once conditions are deemed safe, but total practice time should not exceed three hours per day.
3. A one-hour maximum walk-through is permitted during the first five days of the heat-acclimatization period; however, a three-hour recovery period should be inserted between the practice and walk-through (or vice versa).
4. During the first two days of the heat-acclimatization period, in sports requiring helmets or shoulder pads, a helmet should be the only protective equipment permitted (goalies, as in the case of field hockey and related sports, should not wear full protective gear or perform activities that would require protective equipment). During days three through five, only helmets and shoulder pads should be worn. Beginning on day six, all protective equipment may be worn and full contact may begin.
5. Beginning no earlier than the sixth day and continuing through the 14th day, double-practice days must be followed by a single-practice day. On single-practice days, one walk-through is permitted, but it must be separated from the practice by at least three hours of continuous rest. When a double-practice day is followed by a rest day, another double-practice day is permitted after the rest day.
6. On a double-practice day, neither practice's duration should exceed three hours total, and student athletes should not participate in more than five total hours of practice. Warm-up, stretching, cool-down, walkthrough, conditioning, and weight-room activities are included as part of the practice time. The two practices should be separated by at least three continuous hours in a cool environment.
7. Because the risk of exertion related heat illnesses during the pre-season heat-acclimatization period is high, the consensus statement strongly recommends that an athletic trainer be on site before, during, and after all practices.
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