Proper Hydration to AVOID AND PREVENT HEAT RELATED INJURIES WHEN PLAYING BASEBALL
Some simple guidelines have been prepared by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) when it comes to activities in a hot and/or humid environment. The goal in participating in hot weather is to avoid fluid loss from the body or dehydration. Water not only accounts for some 98% of our body composition but functions to help deliver oxygen to working muscles and keeps the body from overheating during strenuous activity. Hard-working muscles generate heat which is dissipated through the act of sweating. The evaporation of sweat on the skin allows the body to get rid of this heat and cool it off. In looking at the objectives for advising officials and participants about this subject, it seems that the following categories are areas requiring attention:
To this end, after review of the available literature and after consultation of various medical authorities and officials, it was felt that the following recommendations are some key guidelines for baseball participation in the heat:
The other issue to consider is, and you may be asking yourself, what are the risk factors that could predispose a baseball player to heat injury. Listed below are the major risk factors, but this is by no means an exhaustive list:
How can you tell if one of your baseball players is experiencing heat injury? Below is a list of the early warning signs to look for, and again this is not an exhaustive list:
A preseason or pre-event conditioning program, when combined with an 8 - 14 day period of acclimatization, may further reduce the risk of heat injury.
There are 3 main types of heat injury identified in the medical literature:
Signs & Symptoms include - weakness, muscle cramps, collapse with low blood pressure.
Treatment is to replace the salt loss and be oral or intravenous if vomiting is a problem. In addition, having athletes put a little extra salt on their food the day before and the day of the game can be a helpful way to avoid this condition.
2. Heat Exhaustion - this is a more severe medical event as follows.
Signs & Symptoms include - weakness, irritability, collapse, unable to sweat adequately to promote body cooling, my proceed in the more ominous heatstroke, and a fine rash is often present.
Treatment - remove athlete to a cooler environment, use ice baths, fans.
3. Heat Stroke - THIS IS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY - it is due to a failure of the heat-controlling mechanism. It may occur merely as a result of exposure to heat.
Signs & Symptoms include - mental confusion, headache, poor coordination, delirium, convulsions, and death. The body temperature may be 106 F or 40.5 C or higher; the skin is usually hot and dry as the sweating mechanism has failed.
Treatment - Call 911 and transport to a local Hospital. Rapid cooling is the goal using wet towels, spray mist, sponge baths, and removal from the heat. This condition could cause the athlete to go into shock, and a coma may follow, so immediate medical attention is required.
American College of Sports Medicine POSITION STAND. Exercise and Fluid Replacement, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 2007
Dr. Rudy Gittens, Past Medical Director, Canadian Soccer Association
Dr. Robert Gringmuth, Chair, OSA Medical Advisory Committee
Permission to use the document accorded by Ontario Soccer
Mission Minor Baseball (1990) Association is a not-for-profit registered society established in 1990 in Mission, BC, Canada, providing the framework for youth aged 4-18 to play baseball in a safe and fun environment.
MMBA is an innovator in programming, emphasizing Long Term Athlete Development, skill development, sportsmanship, and fun.
We welcome all interested players regardless of experience and/or ability at all age levels. We also have our challenger division that offers fun baseball for physically and/or mentally challenged players of all ages.
Financial barriers do not exist as we have programs available that guarantee your player is on the field for the season. Mission Minor Baseball gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Province of British Columbia!
NCCP is a national coaching certification pathway. For 2021 we believe all coaches in summer baseball must be certified to a level as required for their division.
Mission Minor Baseball is looking to have all coaches certified to Initiation level for 7U, 9U and 11U for spring play. Initiation certification is an on-line component (cost is refunded to coaches by MMBA) and a four hour in person module. Due to Covid in person clinic s have been stopped. We will forward new information as we get it on this topic.
Take as many modules and learn as much as you want - we pay. MMBA pays because we value the coaches in our organization. We believe the players of Mission Minor Baseball deserve the best informed and trained coaches possible and offering learning opportunities free of charge is one step to achieving this.