Researchers led by Zachary Kerr and colleagues (2013) and published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine estimate that over 9,000 high school athletes are treated every year for heat related illness from physical exertion in warm temperatures.
Risk factors include hot weather with high humidity, body weight and a lack of acclimation to physical exertion in the heat. Analyzing data from the National High School Sports-Related Injury Surveillance System, researchers found that the highest number of heat related illness among high school athletes happened in August. Nearly one out of three incidences of heat related illness happened over 2 hours into the practice time. When it comes to different sports, football had the highest rates of heat related illness due to physical exertion.
Appropriate training for coaches, athletes, administrators, parents and others involved with high school athletes is recommended so that preventive measures are in place and that treatment approaches are understood in order to lower the risk of heat related illness.