|To:||State Association Executive Officers|
|From:||Bill Heinz, M.D., Chair of the NFHS SMAC
Bob Colgate, Director of Sports and Sports Medicine
|Subject:||Heat Acclimatization and Heat Illness Prevention|
|Date:||July 31, 2016|
As we head into the fall preseason, I want to give everyone a gentle, but forceful reminder to be mindful of the heat, and of the risks associated with summer-time athletic participation. As reported in the New York Times, NASA is predicting 2016 to be another year of record heat, with temperatures much higher than 2015. It is essential that Administrators, Athletic Directors, Coaches, Parents and Students pay close attention to the resources such as Guidelines and Recommendations contained in the following NFHS Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) “Heat Acclimatization and Heat Illness Prevention Position Statement”:
Similar guidelines and recommendations have also been published by the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA), and the Korey Stringer Institute:
Also, remember that this is not just a football issue. Anyone participating in the heat is vulnerable to heat illness, including participants in activities such as marching band and even volleyball players practicing in a hot gym. It is crucial that the heat acclimatizing guidelines are strictly followed as published, and extra vigilance is placed on the first 3-4 days of the two week acclimatization period. This is the time when our young athletes are most vulnerable to the heat. Please help protect these students from a potentially deadly condition.
Bill Heinz, M.D.
Chair – NFHS Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC)