Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Gatorade and the NFL Launch the 2010 “Beat the Heat” Campaign

My husband called me on Saturday morning from the baseball field to tell me that one of my six-year-old twins had started vomiting after playing ball in the heat. Clearly, his body was feeling the effects of playing out in the hot sun and not being properly hydrated. Heat-related illnesses can kill, so we took this very seriously and will make sure that our son is better hydrated for next week’s game.

Did you know that 70 percent of high school football players show up for practice inadequately hydrated? Education needs to start early, and all parents and coaches should be on the alert for heat-related problems with athletes of all ages. To facilitate this, The Gatorade Company, a division of PepsiCo, has joined forces with the NFL to educate athletes, parents and coaches about heat-related illness and the importance of proper hydration and nutrition before, during and after practices and games. As part of their 2010 Beat the Heat program, NFL players, coaches and their families will lead hydration awareness efforts and help raise funds for two organizations dedicated to preventing heat-related illnesses -- the Korey Stringer Institute (KSI) and the Kendrick Fincher Memorial Foundation (KFMF).

The Gatorade Heat Safety Kit, an educational resource for athletes, parents and coaches, can be downloaded at no cost from the NFL’s official Web site at www.nfl.com/trainingcamp. The Gatorade Heat Safety Kit includes educational resources from the Gatorade Sports Science Institute, as well as an explanation about the “4 Downs” of Heat Safety -- Prevent, Prepare, Proper Hydration, Plan -- which athletes, parents and coaches should consider before engaging in practice or other strenuous physical activity in hot weather. For every unique download of the Gatorade Heat Safety Kit, Gatorade will donate $1, up to $20,000, to Beat the Heat charities.

I strongly encourage you to download the The Gatorade Heat Safety Kit and educate your family about proper hydration and the signs of heat-related illnesses. Have fun, but be safe!

More information on heat illness prevention:
www.nfl.com
http://ksi.uconn.edu/
www.kendrickfincher.org
www.gatorade.com

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