“Take me out to the ball game! Take me out with the crowd!”
The popular baseball anthem beautifully captures the energy and excitement during baseball games at all levels. But there is one part of this outdoor game it doesn’t capture…the heat. From professional MLB games to Little League tournaments, there is no doubt that the risk of overheating or dehydration is much higher for players running on the field and crowds sitting in the sun. Especially when it comes to the beginner-level players, it is important to make sure they are staying safe and cool throughout the game, as well as to teach them healthy hydration habits to carry throughout the rest of their baseball careers and beyond. For parents with young baseball players, there are a few important safety tips to keep in mind as you prepare for a summer of Little League games:
Make sure your child drinks water before, during, and after their games. Before the game, having enough water ensures their bodies are hydrated and prepared to be in the heat, and drinking water during and after games can replenish the water their bodies lose through sweat. Buy them a large water bottle to take to the game – and get a matching one for yourself to have in the stands!
Explain the importance of sitting in the shade to your child and encourage them to stay in the dugout when they are not on the field. According to research from Arizona State University, shade can have a massive impact on an individual’s heat stress, typically decreasing heat stress by a full level (such as from hot to warm). As your child comes off the field, it is important that they sit in a shaded dugout for maximum safety while outside. Additionally, if a child on the field experiences any heat-related illnesses, having access to a shaded area like a dugout can make an enormous difference in their recovery time.
The heat doesn’t just affect your child’s hydration – direct sunlight can also cause damage to their skin, whether they are standing on the pitcher’s mound, running around the bases, or catching in the outfield. Protect your child’s skin by applying sunscreen before the game and reapplying as needed between innings. The CDC recommends using products with an SPF of 15 or more.
If you really want to score a home run, consider bringing a Portacool portable evaporative cooler to the game with you. Your children and their coaches will thank you for bringing the cooler, which uses the natural process of evaporation to create cool air without using too much energy. In a small area like the dugout, it can bring the temperature down tremendously and provide a cool oasis for the players and coaches during the game. Or, if you choose to use it in the stands, you and your fellow proud parents can beat the heat while you cheer on your child’s team.
At Portacool, we know how important your child’s safety is, and we are here to make sure you have the information you need to teach your children how to stay safe in the heat, from the field to the dugout. For more information on which Portacool evaporative cooler options can work for your child’s baseball team, visit our product page.