Sports VIEW

Calling on Jack Frost

Lisa Paine — Sports Editor

Lisa Paine — Sports Editor

I HATE this kind of weather. Yeah, yeah, I know…mom always says that hate is such a strong word. And, she’s right…I HATE this kind of weather.

Did you see the extended forecast for the next seven days?! Ninety four is predicted for all but one day, and oh, catch your breath, that day is only 89 degrees with high humidity. Fantastic.

I’m not a lover of the heat; never have been. I like the spring and fall where the best days are mostly sunny, hovering around 75 with a slight breeze out of the northeast. You just can’t do anything productive at 90-some degrees except convince yourself that throwing up isn’t a good idea. Dog days of summer, my eye! The dogs HATE this kind of weather. The horses HATE this kind of weather. It’s just too darned hot, I tell you, it’s too darned hot!

I’m already at risk for the rest of the summer, having had to recently make the second trip in six years to the ER for an IV bag full of fluids to counteract a heat illness. Trust me…that’s no picnic. I suspect that a lot more people will find themselves in similar situations during the coming week if they aren’t careful.

Heat illnesses are nothing to take lightly, and they can sneak up on you, and fast. It’s one thing to feel sick from the heat, just wanting to get out of the sun for a while. Heat illnesses, though, are far worse than that and signal when your body is in trouble and can’t cool off properly. If not caught early enough or properly treated and managed, they also can turn into heat exhaustion, or at the very extreme, heat stroke.

A popular misconception is that heat illnesses just strike the very old, very young, or the out of shape. Not true. Heat illnesses are simply a sign that you’ve spent too much time out in the heat without proper hydration or breaks. Folks who have to work outdoors mowing lawns, laying roofs, constructing roads–are especially prone because of the added excessive heat that radiates off their work surfaces. Farmers are also at risk and with hay season in full swing, puts many–like me–at risk. Repetitive summers spent working in hot, humid conditions stack up over time and the more times you have had a heat-related illness the more susceptible you are to a repeat incident.

This week in particular, with the high school and lower level sports camps continuing, extra precautions will need to happen and watchful eyes will need to be alert to spot kids, and adults, in trouble. In those situations, no one wants to be perceived as weak or not pulling their weight, but this is not the time to be a hero.

Any child practicing sports over the next several weeks should be watched carefully for signs of heat injuries and should be the first to call out to coaches or those in authority when they begin to feel sick so quick and proper treatment can begin. The humidity levels are also supposed to be quite uncomfortable this week, and will make everyone feel soaked to the bone and just plain HOT!

Hydration is key and drinking the right kinds of fluids is the most important prevention. Water and sports drinks are the best choices because water is what our bodies need to operate at their prime. Sports drinks are also good, but you have to be careful how much sugar is in them, because along with alcohol and caffeine, sugar contributes to dehydration.

I just want a good old fashioned hard, killing frost to clean the air and kill off all the biting insects and allergens that have made everyone, including the horses, miserable since mid-March. Not an allergy sufferer? Count yourself lucky. This has been a banner year. This past week everyone who suffers from seasonal allergies has been assaulted again. The culprit? Grass pollens. Grass pollen is highest at these times, with fall allergies most typically caused by weeds such as ragweed.

I’m not looking for an early winter, just a break from the obnoxious, oppressive heat and temps back in the mid-70s. Right about now, I’d take a dump truck full of snow, lay down in it with the horses, and just roll in it; a Slip N’ Slide like no other!

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