The question has been asked-

Should we cancel our baseball game on a hot night?

General Answer: No

Baseball is a summer sport and it seems that we are generally fighting the elements whenever we decide to play an outdoor sport, its generally too cold at the start of the season, then it rains and diamonds become unplayable and we have to cancel. So we get a nice clear day but it's hot, what can we do?

One point to take into account as well is that the thought to cancel generally occurs around 3-4 p.m., this is the hottest time of the day, this is when hydrating should begin with a child as they prepare for their game that evening. By 6:45 p.m. the temperature has generally dropped a few degrees and the sun is setting lower in the sky and the temperature is generally much more tolerable to play in.

 

1- Slow down the pace of the game, especially when it's just little kids. Umpires should make sure that a long enough break is taken every 1/2 inning to allow players to hydrate.

2- Substitute players- Our continuous lineup rules allow anyone to play the field and if a player needs or wants to sit in the shade for an inning then another player can go on. With Tyke you can reduce the number of players on the field to 8 without penalty so let 2 or 3 sit if they want to. Another thought is to substitute players part way through an inning, especially if it's a really long one. Ask the Umpire for time and move players from the bench to the field, the umpire and other team will understand. Use a different child to catch each inning, all that equipment is hot!

3- Start hydrating before the game. When your player has cramps or reaction to the sun it's often due to the fact that they where outside throughout the day and not properly hydrating. As a result you may see the affects of the days activities at the game. Make sure they are drinking when they get to the game, they should be hydrating with water or sports drink in the hour or two before the activity starts according to most professionals. Be proactive!

4- Avoid products that don't promote hydration. Avoid Caffeine Products- Read the ingredients on the bottle label. Water is good but it doesn't replenish sodium. Cramping seems to be related to sodium loss. Sports drinks like Gatorade, Powerade, etc. will replenish most of what your body needs when you are physically active but they're not really designed to drink when your just sitting around. Sports drinks are designed for exactly that- Sports. Carbonated drinks such as pop are not a great choice as they can affect performance due to gas and cramping when running, most coaches will not allow players to drink pop while playing

5- Don't forget the sunscreen/sunblock. Generally the sun is setting lower in the sky in evening games and the heat is our biggest enemy but the risk still exists so play it safe and put it on. A tournament can cause some awful burns that often are not noticed until you get home. Use lots & lots of sunscreen. Oh yes, and wear a hat, it keeps the sun off your face.

6- Coaches- Keep your warm up toned down, hold your conference in the shade, try and keep your players energy for the game. Make sure they are drinking, force them too as a condition of playing.

There is one common denominator in all the following articles, You must keep your child hydrated! Make sure they are drinking prior to the activity and throughout it, especially if it is a tournament or all day event.

Read the ingredient list on what your child is drinking, water is easy as it's all water, sports drinks are good as they'll help replenish that lost sodium & electrolytes, and above all avoid caffeine oriented energy drinks. Most energy style drinks have a warning on them that they are not intended for children and are not for athletic purposes.

 

The following is from Gatorade's web page

How to maintain peak performance

Athletes who train in hot and humid conditions, whether it's outside or in a gym, and don't properly replace their fluids run the risk of dehydration. Because dehydration can take a serious toll on performance, it's important for athletes to know how to get plenty of fluid:

Remember fluids throughout the day.

This may be as simple as grabbing a sports drink first thing in the morning, then using fountains, coolers, and cafeteria beverages as triggers for drinking throughout the day.

Hydrate 2 to 3 hours before practices and competitions.

Athletes should aim for at least 16 ounces (2 cups) of fluid at this time and an additional 8 ounces

(1 cup) 10 to 20 minutes prior to getting into competition.

Drink during workouts or competition.

Sports drinks, like Gatorade, can help ward off dehydration and muscle cramps because they help replenish both fluid and electrolytes (i.e., sodium and potassium) lost in sweat without overdrinking.

The following is from Sportsmedicine.about.com

What should you choose for improved performance

Proper hydration is extremely important during exercise. Adequate fluid intake for athletes, even the recreational kind, is essential to comfort, performance and safety. The longer and more intensely you exercise, the more important it is to drink plenty of fluids. Inadequate water consumption can be physically harmful. Consider that a loss of as little as 2% of one's body weight due to sweating, can lead to a drop in blood volume. When this occurs, the heart works harder in order to move blood through the bloodstream. Prehydration and rehydration are vital to maintaining cardiovascular health, proper body temperature and muscle function.

Dehydration is a major cause of fatigue, poor performance, decreased coordination and muscle cramping. To avoid the above, the American College Of Sports Medicine suggests the following:
 

  1. Eat a high carbohydrate, low fat diet & drink plenty of fluids between exercise sessions.
    (Plain water or fluids WITHOUT sugar, caffeine or alcohol are the best).
  2. Drink 17 oz (2+ Cups) of fluid 2 hours before exercise.
  3. Drink every 15 minutes during exercise.
  4. Keep drinks cooler than air temperature & close at hand (a water bottle is ideal).
  5. If you exercise for more than 60 minutes, you may benefit from a sports drink containing carbohydrate (not greater than 8% concentration, though).
  6. Take 30-60 grams of carbohydrate per hour to delay fatigue & fuel muscle contractions.
  7. Inclusion of sodium (0.5-0.7 g.1(-1) of water)ingested during exercise lasting longer than an hour may enhance palatability, and therefore encourage athletes to drink enough.

     

    Although athletes are more prone to suffer symptoms of dehydration, all exercisers can increase performance & delay fatigue or muscle pain by staying properly hydrated. Consider 'prehydrating' by drinking 12-16 ounces of water 1-2 hours before exercising.

    How much is enough?
    To get an idea of just how much you need to drink, you should weigh yourself before and after your workouts. Any weight decrease is probably due to water loss (sorry, but you didn't just lose 2 pounds of body fat). If you have lost 2 or more pounds during your workout you should drink 24 ounces of water for each pound lost.

    Another way to determine your state of hydration is by monitoring your morning and pre-exercise heart rate. Over the course of a few weeks, you will see a pattern. This information can be extremely helpful in determining your state of recovery. Days when your heart rate is elevated above your norm may indicate a lack of complete recovery, possibly due to dehydration.

    What about Sports Drinks?
    Sports drinks can be helpful to athletes who are exercising at a high intensity for 90 minutes or more. Fluids supplying 60 to 100 calories per 8 ounces helps to supply the needed calories required for continuous performance. It's really not necessary to replace losses of sodium, potassium and other electrolytes during exercise since you're unlikely to deplete your body's stores of these minerals during normal training. If, however, you find yourself exercising in extreme conditions over 5 or 6 hours (an Ironman or ultramarathon, for example) you will need to add a complex sports drink with electrolytes. Athletes who don't consume electrolytes under these conditions risk overhydration (or hyponatremia). The most likely occurence is found in the longer events (five hours or more) when athletes drink excessive amounts of electrolyte free water, and develop hyponatremia (low blood sodium concentration).

    What about Caffeine?
    While caffeine may have some ergogenic properties, remember that it acts as a diuretic causing your body to excrete fluid instead of retaining it, so it is not the wisest choice when trying to hydrate. You're better off with plain water or fruit juice until your weight reaches that of your pre-exercise state. For additional information on hydration and exercise, check out the following links.

The following is from Chemistry.about.com

Effectiveness of Sports Drinks

Which Drink is Better?

What drink is best for getting and staying hydrated during exercise? Should you choose water? Are sports drinks best? What about juice or carbonated soft drinks? Coffee or tea? Beer?

Water

The natural choice for hydration is water. It hydrates better than any other liquid, both before and during exercise. Water tends to be less expensive and more available than any other drink. You need to drink 4-6 ounces of water for every 15-20 minutes of exercise. That can add up to a lot of water! While some people prefer the taste of water over other drinks, most people find it relatively bland and will stop drinking water before becoming fully hydrated. Water is the best, but it only helps you if you drink it.

Sports Drinks

Sports drinks don't hydrate better than water, but you are more likely to drink larger volumes, which leads to better hydration.

The typical sweet-tart taste combination doesn't quench thirst, so you will keep drinking a sports drink long after water has lost its appeal. An attractive array of colors and flavors are available. You can get a carbohydrate boost from sports drinks, in addition to electrolytes which may be lost from perspiration, but these drinks tend to offer lower calories than juice or soft drinks.

Juice

Juice may be nutritious, but it isn't the best choice for hydration. The fructose, or fruit sugar, reduces the rate of water absorption so cells don't get hydrated very quickly. Juice is a food in its own right and it's uncommon for a person to drink sufficient quantities to keep hydrated. Juice has carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes, but it isn't a great thirst quencher.

Carbonated Soft Drinks

When you get right down to it, the colas and uncolas of the world aren't good for the body. The acids used to carbonate and flavor these beverages will damage your teeth and may even weaken your bones. Soft drinks are devoid of any real nutritional content. Even so, they taste great! You are more likely to drink what you like, so if you love soft drinks then they might be a good way to hydrate. The carbohydrates will slow your absorption of water, but they will also provide a quick energy boost. In the long run, they aren't good for you, but if hydration is your goal, soft drinks aren't a bad choice. Avoid drinks with lots of sugar or caffeine, which will lessen the speed or degree of hydration.

Coffee and Tea

Coffee and tea can sabotage hydration. Both drinks act as diuretics, meaning they cause your kidneys to pull more water out of your bloodstream even as the digestive system is pulling water into your body. It's a two-steps-forward-one-step-back scenario. If you add milk or sugar, then you reduce the rate of water absorption even further. The bottom line? Save the latte for later.

Alcoholic Beverages

A beer might be great after the game, as long as you were the spectator and not the athlete. Alcohol dehydrates your body. Alcoholic beverages are better for hydration than, say, seawater, but that's about it.

The bottom line: Drink water for maximum hydration, but feel free to mix things up a bit to cater to your personal taste. You will drink more of what you like. In the end, the quantity of liquid is the biggest factor for getting and staying hydrated.

The following is from Topendsports.com

What athletes should drink

by Clare Wood

There are a lot of drink choices out there, so how do you know what is right for you.

While exercising, particularly in the heat, heavy sweating may occur, therefore resulting in the loss of body fluids and electrolytes. The amount of fluid lost depends not only on the environmental temperature but on the humidity as well. Although there are some electrolytes lost in sweat, particularly sodium and chloride, there is a much greater proportion of water lost. Therefore replacing the water is far more important than the replacement of electrolytes.

The losses in body fluid potentially lead to health problems if they are not replaced. There is a multitude of sport fluid replacement drinks available. Some come in powdered form. For these, if the recommended mixtures are followed these usually result in drinks too concentrated. The ideal replacement fluid consists mostly of water.

The temperature of the fluid should be cool not warm, as this enables more rapid movement of the fluid out of the stomach. If a race or training activity in the heat is going to last for an extended period, try and find some way of replacing the fluid as you exercise (every 15-20 minutes). If that is not possible, you must aim to be well hydrated prior to exercise (a couple of glasses of water 15-20 minutes prior to exercise), and to replace the fluid as soon as possible after exercise.

The following article is from Health-Care-Information.org

External Heat Illness Guidelines


 

Body temperature is dependent on a balance between heat production and heat loss. There are several mechanisms by which we lose heat; for example, sweating allows us to lose heat via evaporation (accounts for 20-25% of heat loss). Radiation, convection, and conduction (2% of heat loss) also play important roles in heat loss. Radiation accounts for as much as 70% of heat loss under normal conditions. Hypothermia results when the body loses more heat than it produces.

Temperature regulation is mediated by the nervous system through changes in muscular activity and metabolism. Heat is generated in the body through metabolism and muscular activity. A complex regulating system is responsible for controlling the delicate balance between heat production and loss. When conditions in the environment become too hot or humid and the body is unable to compensate, we become susceptible to heat illness. Certain drugs contribute to the development of heat illness : phenothiazines (chlorpromazine), antihistamines, beta-blockers, diuretics, over-the-counter medications for colds or allergies, and tricyclic antidepressants (amitriptyline, imipramine).

There are 3 types of heat illness:

1. HEAT CRAMPS
2. HEAT EXHAUSTION
3. HEAT STROKE

HEAT CRAMPS

Heat cramps are usually associated with strenuous physical activity. They occur due to profuse sweating, resulting from a loss of body salt (sodium). These patients are NOT dehydrated. SYMPTOMS are painful spasms of muscles in the extremities and the abdomen. The patient has a normal body temperature, but has not adequately maintained their salt levels because of sweating. Oral fluids and electrolyte replacement will be sufficient. Popular sports drinks, (i.e. Gatorade) are effective in restoring body fluids and salt balance. Persistent symptoms, despite oral intake, require physician evaluation to exclude a more serious heat illness.

HEAT EXHAUSTION

Heat exhaustion is similar to heat cramps, but the patient IS dehydrated.Here, the patient has been unable to maintain body sodium and fluidrequirements, resulting in the symptoms of heat exhaustion. SYMPTOMS include: fatigue progressing to lightheadedness, nausea, vomiting, headache, rapid heartbeat while in a state of rest (100 beats per minute or more in the adult), and lowered blood pressure. Body temperature is normal, or only slightly elevated. Blood electrolyte abnormalities are commonly seen secondary to dehydration.

TREATMENT involves intravenous fluid administration under a physician's care. Seek treatment PROMPTLY.

HEAT STROKE

This is the most serious heat illness and a true medical EMERGENCY. Heat stroke is often defined as a temperature of greater than 106 degrees Fahrenheit and the presence of a neurologic symptoms. People at risk are: the elderly, infants, athletes, construction workers, miners, new military recruits, persons
taking amphetamines, Mao inhibitors, phenothiazines, anticholinergics, or tricyclic antidepressants. Those with lack of sleep, exercise, or inadequate acclimatization to the environment are also at risk.
COMMON SYMPTOMS include: an ELEVATED temperature, LACK OF sweating, and often neurologic symptoms. Findings can be quite varied, including the occurrence of seizures, unresponsiveness, one-sided paralysis, or abnormal pupillary responses when light is shone into the eye(s). Early symptoms may include bizzare behavior, irritability, combativeness, or hallucinations. The patient may have fluid and body sodium depletion as seen in classic heat exhaustion. TREATMENT involves aggressive measures, applied quickly, to lower body temperature. Clothing should be removed on the scene, with cool water applied to the skin, followed by fanning. Ice packs to the groin and armpits are also useful. Intravenous fluid administration is often necessary to compensate for any associated fluid or electrolyte losses. These patients require IMMEDIATE emergency treatment.