How to Be Prepared for Cold Weather
The seasons are changing yet again, and with that comes a drop in the temperature. It's important to be aware of the dangers of cold weather and be prepared to delay or cancel games if the weather conditions are poor enough.
Freezing rain, hail, snow, sleet or heavy rain can cause field conditions to deteriorate rapidly. Check field conditions before and during games to ensure that they don't become hazardous for players.
Also, during the cold weather games, players should be allowed to wear appropriate and safe clothing including extra garments under the jersey and shorts, knit hats and gloves, etc., to protect against cold and windy weather conditions.
It's important that players are prepared for the cold because hypothermia can be contracted without sub-zero temperatures.
Below are six facts about hypothermia and what you can do to treat it in its initial stages:
- Hypothermia can occur with high winds, rain, snowfall or under-dressing for weather.
- Early hypothermia symptoms include shivering and bluish tinge to lips. Treat immediately to prevent further progression.
- If a player exhibits uncontrollable shivering, weakness, loss of coordination, slowed breathing or heart rate, and pale, blue and cold skin – call for emergency services (911)
- In all potential hypothermia cases, it’s important to prevent further heat loss. Seek shelter from wind and cold and move to a warm, dry environment, if possible.
- If the player is wet, tell parent or guardian to gently change wet clothing and provide warmth (dry jackets, blankets, etc.)
- If hypothermia is suspected, do not rub extremities and avoid rough handling.