Insights and tips on how to protect your athletes and teams.

Ward, Hayden
/ Categories: CBIZ BP Sports Blog

Protect Your Student-Athletes from Summer Heat-Related Illness

College football player drinking water and sweating outside

Heat can be deadly by pushing the human body beyond its limits. A heatwave, an extended period of extreme heat that is often accompanied by high humidity, can be life-threatening for people who don't take the proper precautions. In these conditions, evaporation slows, and the body must work even harder to maintain a normal temperature. In a typical year, approximately 175 Americans succumb to the demands of the summer heat. The health of student-athletes is a major concern as summer camps and training begins.

Stay safe in the summer heat with these tips:

Know the Signs

Most heat disorders occur because the victim has been overexposed to heat or has over-exercised for their age and physical condition. Older adults, young children and those who are sick or overweight are more likely to succumb to extreme heat. Other conditions that can induce heat-related illnesses include stagnant atmospheric conditions and poor air quality.

It is always wise to avoid scheduling workouts and practices during the hottest times of the day. Try scheduling early in the day or later in the evening to avoid the extreme heat.

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion occurs when a person cannot sweat enough to cool the body — typically the result of not drinking enough fluids during hot weather. It generally develops when a person is playing, working or exercising outside in extreme heat. Symptoms include the following:

  • Dizziness, weakness, nausea, headache and vomiting
  • Blurry vision
  • Body temperature rising to 101°FSweaty skin
  • Feeling hot and thirsty
  • Difficulty speaking

A person suffering from heat exhaustion must move to a cool place and drink plenty of water to avoid heat stroke — an even more severe heat-related condition.

Heat Stroke

In hot and humid weather, sometimes your body’s natural cooling system isn’t enough. Heat stroke is the result of untreated heat exhaustion. Symptoms include:

  • Absence of sweating
  • Unawareness of thirst and heat
  • Body temperature rising rapidly to above 101°F
  • Confusion or delirium  
  • Possible loss of consciousness or seizure

Heat stroke is a serious medical emergency that must be treated quickly by a trained professional. Until help arrives, cool the person down by placing ice on the neck, armpits and groin. If the person is awake and able to swallow, have them drink 8 ounces of water every 15 minutes or until help arrives.

Before Extreme Heat

To prepare for extreme heat, do the following:

  • Build an emergency kit and make a communication plan with your staff.
  • Listen to local weather forecasts so you can be aware of upcoming temperature changes.
  • Get trained in first aid to learn how to treat heat-related emergencies.
  • Advise student-athletes to wear lightweight clothing and to bring sunscreen with them to practice.

Tips for Staying Cool

When a large portion of summer training and camp happens outside in the heat, keep yourself and your student-athletes cool by following these safety tips:

  • Drink plenty of water. The average adult needs eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day, and even more during hot weather. Always make sure you have enough water for yourself and your teams.
  • Eat well-balanced meals. Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.
  • Apply sunscreen and regularly reapply it. Supply extra for your student-athletes in case they forgot or need to reapply.
  • Take longer breaks. The American Red Cross recommends stopping every 20 minutes to take a break and drink fluids.
  • Find the shade. Set up a space underneath a tree or create a shaded zone with a canopy for some added relief. When the sun isn’t directly hitting skin, it can make all the difference.

Summer heat can be more than uncomfortable; it can be a threat to your health, especially for student-athletes. Don’t let the summer sun get the best of you. 

Keep Your Cool with CBIZ Borden Perlman Sports

We are here to provide you and your teams with ongoing support throughout life and on the field. To learn more about how CBIZ Borden Perlman Sports can protect your teams, connect with us today.

This blog may contain scenarios that are provided as examples only. In an actual claim situation, coverage is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy issued. The information provided is general in nature and may be affected by changes in law or the interpretation of such laws. The reader is advised to contact a professional prior to taking any action based upon this information.

1389 Rate this article:
No rating

Leave a comment

This form collects your name, email, IP address and content so that we can keep track of the comments placed on the website. For more info check our Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use where you will get more info on where, how and why we store your data.
Add comment

Theme picker




800.932.4476 | [email protected]

200 Princeton South Corporate Center | 200 Charles Ewing Boulevard, Suite 330 | Ewing, NJ 08628

Monday - Friday | 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (EST)



CBIZ Borden Perlman Sports, a division of CBIZ Insurance Services, Inc., is one of the largest insurers of collegiate athletic programs in the United States. As part of an $850 million New York Stock Exchange-traded company (CBZ), we developed a program to meet the needs for those in the athletic sports industry. We have been in the intercollegiate sports industry since 1990.

The CBIZ Borden Perlman Sports team knows insurance, specifically the risks and exposures related to intercollegiate insurance. With hands-on, personal customer service, we guarantee swift communication and a claims team that is ready to respond to your needs. As specialists in the industry, we leverage our knowledge and passion to ensure your teams are superiorly protected.