With the summer upon us, even in Cumberland we expect to see some sun and higher temperatures and humidity. This brings different considerations to ensure that we continue to keep people safe and well during football activities.
During periods of warm weather it is important to understand that high temperatures and humidity can lead to increased core temperatures and dehydration which, can in turn, increase the risk for heat illness, particularly within children (who sweat less than adults making it harder for them to cool down).
However, heat illness can be prevented.
The best advice we can provide is to use common sense. Some other important tips to consider are;
- If in doubt – don’t play/train/referee
- Try to avoid exercising/playing/refereeing in the hottest parts of the day (11am and 3pm) - so where possible you may wish to look at moving your training matches to outside of these times
- Consider adapting your practice type (reduce intensity of planned activities) and match/playing times (e.g. quarters with breaks etc.)
- Ensure you drink plenty of hydrating fluids before and after the game (consider drinks with electrolytes for re-hydrating although water is fine).
- Ensure all participants have water and consider having additional ready to drink and cool down
- Take regular water breaks (at least every 15 minutes) – NB: In matches, at a referee’s discretion, a short drinks breaks can be permitted during the game and whilst the referee can choose the best moment for the break to take place, it is recommended that these are agreed prior to the game and in adult football they are as close to the middle of each half as possible.
- Apply high protection sunscreen regularly
- Avoid wearing layers and, if possible, wear light colours where possible
- Try to use rolling subs, plan substitutions to allow players to all have breaks. Consider having sheltered areas for substitutes to allow them to cool down
- Consider having snacks such as frozen fruit, ice cubes or homemade lollies as a rehydrating treat (ensure you check the dietary requirements of players first).
- Keeping a very close eye on participants – Watch out for signs of heat related illness. Find out about the signs of heat exhaustion and heatstroke, and when to get help.
- Use common sense and if in doubt – STOP
For further advice about how to stay safe in hot weather, visit the NHS website
If you are planning on playing or training on a 3G pitch, then clubs should consider the FA advice HERE
For guidance on managing grass pitches in a drought, please CLICK HERE