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Is overly hot gym dangerous?

 
 
Linkat
 
Reply Tue 18 Jan, 2011 11:09 am
We have a beautiful new high school in our city. And we have had the great advantage to use the new gym for some of my daughters’ basketball games. I have attended a couple of games there for each of my daughters.

My older daughter had a game there this weekend. It was extremely hot. And I wasn’t playing.

Halfway through the second half, my daughter was pulled out of the game. I thought that’s weird, usually she plays a longer especially in a close game. I saw her walk off toward a back hallway and thought she was going to the bathroom. One of the other moms came over and said, I think something is wrong with her.

Come to find out, she is sick. She was so hot, that she was nauseous, fortunately by evening she was feeling better. It appeared from her symptoms she may have had mild heat exhaustion.

We sent an email to the coach to see if they could lower the heat in the future and his response was – his daughter is on the varsity team and this is the way it always is. He followed up with the varsity coach of the high school and his email was condensing and rude. Saying it is better than it being too cold and the kids getting sick from no heat as was the case of the old gym. Basically wrapping up to say, if you have a problem with the heat, then you can play at one of the middle schools.

I was irate. I was about to send a rude message back, but thought better of it. Not sure, what to do from here – but do you feel that such a hot gym is bad for the kids’ health? Is there something would should do further (besides watching her more closely during games)?
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  3  
Reply Tue 18 Jan, 2011 11:11 am
@Linkat,
Super-hydrate before the game and watch levels of electrolytes.

Our Natatorium was murder hot when I was in swimming back in high school; and super muggy as well. Hydration is the key to not getting sick. I went through this problem a lot back in the day.

Cycloptichorn
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Jan, 2011 11:24 am
@Linkat,
I've heard of a lot more athletes getting sick from overheating than I have from them getting frostbite.

The High School varsity coach is an idiot; cold temperatures causing illness has been debunked for decades.
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Jan, 2011 11:39 am
I would think an too hot gym would be a boon for bacteria as well. I think the coach is an idiot too...
DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Tue 18 Jan, 2011 11:44 am
@Ceili,
Furthermore....

Why is it a choice between "too hot" and "too cold?" Is this guy unaware of a device called a "thermostat?"

He's presenting it as a false dilemma.
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Tue 18 Jan, 2011 11:46 am
My sister does Bikram Yoga which is done in a room heated to 105 degrees. The theory is that the heat promotes flexibility and therefore practitioners suffer fewer injuries and muscle strain.

Yoga is certainly less intense than basketball, though.

I agree with Cyclo that hydration is really key and with DrewDad that the coach is an idiot.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Jan, 2011 12:04 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
I think the problem is my daughter plays more and longer than her teammates. They are pulled out of the game and replaced by other players so they get to sit and drink some water. She usually plays at least 15 minutes the first half and running full out like she does - she doesn't get to drink until after she sits down.

I know she played at a softball tournament that was hot and humid and she didn't have this problem - more likely as the innings turned around, she got the opportunity to sit and have a drink.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Jan, 2011 12:04 pm
@DrewDad,
That was my impression as well. I really want to punch that coach in the face.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Tue 18 Jan, 2011 12:07 pm
@DrewDad,
Well the old gym had a problem - it was old thus the new school needing to be built. Most of the other gyms they play are cold. I usually wear a light coat/sweater under my winter coat when attending games as I expect it to be cold - better for the players who are running around.

The other thing (which because our lives do not revolve around this high school) we did not read in the local paper that our city is paying 10k to have the custodians taught how to use the new heating system - I think unknowing we hit a hot button when we asked about this.
0 Replies
 
PUNKEY
 
  2  
Reply Tue 18 Jan, 2011 12:27 pm
Did you speak to the principal?
He oversees both the custodian and the coach.
If two or more parents complain, then something will be done, guaranteed.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Jan, 2011 12:48 pm
@PUNKEY,
Hubby was going to follow up with the varisty coach - believe it or not he coached my daughter's travel team last year and he has a daughter on the same team. And he was going to send a note to the superintentant. Unfortunately my daughter is in middle school (and attends a private school) so we really do not know the principal or other administrators within the public schools. But I am sure they are each "reachable" and have their emails noted some where.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Jan, 2011 02:54 pm
@Linkat,
What is extremely hot? 90? 95? Being in the South, it is not unusual for school athletes to play outside sports in 85+ degree weather. I've seen football teams working out in full pads when it is 95 out. Of course there is more air circulation outside, but playing tennis on a concrete court you could easily see temperatures over 100 courtside. None of the gyms I grew up in were air conditioned, but they usually had fans to move the air around. Since you expect it, you hydrate accordingly. That said, it is the coachs' responsibility to make sure players are hydrated and that they rotate taking into account the playing conditions. I think the coach is foolish for dismissing a parent's concern for their child. Your daughter's reaction should be a warning shot that he is not paying enough attention to his players.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Jan, 2011 03:14 pm
@engineer,
Like I said - she has played in extremely hot and humid weather for softball. But you do not expect it in the dead of winter in a gym playing basketball. All I know is it seemed everyone was commenting about how hot it was. During a time out - we were chatting with the refs and they were saying how hot it was.

The coach is another whole issue. He is really a nice guy, but he definately is not in tuned with the girls and coaching (at least competitively). He is the coach that likes everyone to have fun. He runs a very lax program - but it is supposed to be a competitive league. As a result the team (for lack of a better term) stinks. That is why my daughter plays so much because she is the only one conditioned to play that long.

As we are "committed" to finishing this out through March and she loves the game, I will continue taking her to practices and games, but I will keep my eyes on her. I also spoke with her and let her know to tell her coach she needs to be taken out if she starts to feel sick again. She continued playing even though she felt sick and felt she would puke. It is her competitiveness. She finally did tell him when he was changing players in and out, but was going to continue to leave her in.

I may be an overconcerned parent, but I keep thinking if she didn't finally say something she could have passed out.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Jan, 2011 03:38 pm
@Linkat,
Oh I getcha. Same thing with us ... warm gym, and sozlet and the other "main" player are way overheated by the time the game is over. (Two very good players on the team, they both play a lot.) Last game it was 20 degrees outside and we had to do some errands afterwards and she refused to put her coat on (we were out doing this and that in a cold car and walking in the cold air with brief stops at heated stores) for the whole half hour we were out there. She was wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Her skin was still hot to the touch when we got home.

She does drink a lot though and that seems to make the difference between heated up and nauseous.

I think you can demand that your daughter get water breaks if the temperature isn't under your or the coach's control (and I don't get why they can't adjust the thermostat).
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Jan, 2011 03:56 pm
@sozobe,
According to the varisty coach - it is more complicated than just "lowering" the heat. At least that is what he said in his email - told you - he was very condensending.

I will also tell my daughter whenever they have a time out to quickly grap her water prior to "huddling" up. I do think that will help. I think basketball can be a bit more difficult as it isn't easy to just run over and grap some water as some other sports. Typically she doesn't get a drink until she is pulled out. Softball even though it was much more hot and humid - they stop each inning so they go get drinks.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Tue 18 Jan, 2011 04:26 pm
Just out of curiosity I asked Mr. B your question. He said he thought the heat was probably because of the floor, especially if it's wet or snowy where you are.

According to him an average sized gym floor costs about $70,000 just to install, with an upkeep of about $4,000 each year. Even under optimum conditions it needs to be refinished every 2 years or so at a cost of about $15,000. Changes in temperature or humidity will cause the floor to warp, making it unusable.

I thought I'd pass his thoughts along since maybe they're just being overly careful because the gym is so new.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Jan, 2011 04:35 pm
@boomerang,
That's interesting. Makes sense.

In our situation though the gym gets much much warmer than baseline when it's in use for b-ball games. We play last after several other rounds of kids (older girls, older boys, same-age boys), and it's really hot by then. At the beginning it's not, and during regular use of the gym (for gym class for example) it's not. But a bunch of kids running around and all those spectators really raise the temperature.

That might point back to it being hard to control though -- the number of people, number of games, etc. might all contribute.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Jan, 2011 04:39 pm
I'll post without backup on this, not being in a googling mood, but I think heat exhaustion/dehydration can be serious, dunno.
tsarstepan
 
  2  
Reply Tue 18 Jan, 2011 04:41 pm
@Linkat,
I'm not sure why you would email the coach about this problem as I can't imagine that he would have control over these things thus the inappropriate and rude response to your inquiry.

I would have gotten hold of the school itself and perhaps try to get a hold of the principle himself or at least a building manager.

An overly hot gym can be dangerous to any athlete, let alone a minor/child.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Jan, 2011 04:55 pm
@ossobuco,
exhuastion - no - but it can lead to heat stroke which is. My daughter when younger at camp had heat exhaustion, but the teenagers knew better than these adults and took her inside in air conditioning away from the heat outdoors. We had to leave her out of camp for a few days.

It is also much worse for older people and young children. Why we kind of knew about the problems around this.
 

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