Football + Excessive Heat

Is Excessive Heat And Youth Football A Dangerous Mix?

Football season is rapidly approaching. Camps for youth recreational leagues, high school, colleges and the NFL are starting in July when some heat indices (combination of temperature and humidity) are well into the upper 90s or 100s in some parts of the country. Inspired by social media posts yesterday noting that kids were in football camps in Georgia, I wanted to highlight the question, "Is excessive heat and youth football a dangerous mix?"

Coaches and parents would immediately pull kids from a lightning storm, yet the perception of heat as a risk is lower. Dr. Michelle Hawkins is the Climate, Weather and Health Lead in the National Weather Service (NWS) Climate Services Branch. She told me,

CDC found that over 650 people die per year from exposure to extreme heat (most of any weather threat). These deaths are preventable. Heat is considered a silent killer. It doesn't come in toppling down trees or damaging homes, and often people don't even know that they are suffering from heat illness.

Dr. Hawkins is spot on. I cringe when I hear a death from heat and football called an "accident."

Three medical doctors recently wrote in a scholarly journal that hot, humid conditions are "the single most critical predisposing risk factor" associated with exertional heat illness. According to the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research, 52 football players died over the period 1995 to 2012 from exertional heat stroke (EHS).

Korey Stringer, a pro-bowl tackle for the Minnesota Vikings, died in 2001 after collapsing from a morning practice in 91 degree heat. His body temperature reached 108 degrees and exhibited classic symptoms of heat stroke. His death elevated the issue, and the Korey Stringer Institute was established, to provide research, education, advocacy and consultation to maximize performance, optimize safety and prevent sudden death for the athlete, soldier and laborer.

Professor Andrew Grunstein of the University of Georgia (UGA) is an international expert on weather and heat-related issues. In 2012, he and colleagues published a studied noting that heat-related football deaths tripled between 1994 and 2009, and the state of Georgia led the way. Their study developed a national database with information on humidity, temperature, time of day and attributes (height, weight, position) of the football players who died from hyperthermia. Hyperthermia is when the core body temperature is elevated above normal (not to be confused with hypothermia which is abnormally low body temperature). Grundstein, who collaborates with the Korey Stringer Institute, pointed out that the heat index seemed to be increasing in more recent years and players, particularly linemen, have gotten larger in size. Both of these factors increase risk.

Full article can be found here:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/marshallshepherd/2016/07/15/is-excessive-heat-and-youth-football-a-dangerous-mix/?sh=1d744455188b

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Multiple Sclerosis Patient Needed Cooling Vest

I was recently diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and need to keep my core cool to reduce MS attacks and severity. I live in Southern California where it gets really hot and summer temps can be brutal. I also live on a ranch and the animals must be taken care of regardless of how hot it is. I looked at cheaper vests but all they were was material soaked in water and put on for an evaporative effect. Not any better than taking off my t shirt and getting it wet on the wash rack at the barn and putting it on. I found this and decided to try it since it had actual frozen material held close to the body. We have had 90+ degree temps the last two days with 35-60 % humidity so a pretty good test environment. I had frozen the gel packs and inserted into the vest and put on with my t shirt underneath to go out and feed and water the animals. I did stay much cooler than without the vest and wasn’t sweating up a storm or getting dizzy in the heat. But after 1 hour the gel packs were thawing out about half way, but still keeping me cool. When I returned to the house I just stuck the whole vest in the chest freezer so I can easily grab it before going out knowing it will be good to go. If you need cooling power for more than a couple of hours you will need additional gel packs to swap out. This will work for MS patients for 2 hrs or less. If you want to do outside activities for longer you need cooling gel inserts front and back. So for riding and driving the mules and donkeys I bought a Glacier Tech vest that holds frozen cooling gel packets both front and back and will last up to 4 hrs no problem. It is also heavier and bulkier and of course costs more. MS patient’s internal thermometer is broken and we are always hot and overheat easily. So we must have a way to keep cool outside or we can’t go outside. This vest would be great for gardening, walks, short errand runs etc for MS patients as well as normal people looking for some heat relief. If you need to use it on the job outside buy several gel cooling packs to swap out throughout the day. I found the gel packs expand much more easily in warm water in the sink, submerged under a dinner plate for a couple hours. All expanded no problem.

Bulky

The photos are misleading. Once the ice packs are added this is very bulky and looks like a life vest especially if you have breasts. I bought this for equestrian sports. You could only use after you have taken care of your horse. Once you can put it on, it works fantastic. But I went off the thin photo and was disappointed not being able to wear . The ice packs are bumpy so if you fall wearing this, it will hurt.

Nice cooling vest

I ordered this on advice from others with MS to see if it would help with my heat intolerance. It helped greatly. I used it for mowing our lawn on an upper 80's day.
I mowed for about an hour and the cooling packs were still more than 1/2 frozen and I was still comfortable. It wore nicely and was not restrictive at all.
Definitely would recommend this.

Y
CoolSport Vestino
Yuri Artibise
Helped During the Heat Dome

I have MS and heat exacerbates my symptoms. While I initially purchased this vest to help keep cool while exercising outside during the summer, it proved invaluable to helping keep cool during the 'heat dome' event that his the west coast during the end of June, both when I was inside or outside!

Its minimal size and shape allows you to move freely when wearing it (even when wearing a back- or water-pack over top), but the full back ice pack still keeps you cool.

I highly recommend it for those looking for a lightweight and unobstructive way to keep cool in the heat.

Comfort found in a vest!

my experience has been great. From the first call to ask questions about the product. Order fulfilled in no time at all. wearing the vest has been wonderful, helping to keep my core temperature in control so I can be active outdoors for much longer. The zipper is easy for me to use too. This summer is going to be great!