When playing outdoors on a hot day, children usually figure out when to go inside and cool down.

But when kids play multiple games in dangerously hot, humid conditions at a soccer tournament or when they’re melting under heavy pads at a preseason football practice, adults run the show.

The newest AAP policy statement about heat stress directs adults to keep young athletes out of danger by using common sense.

“Adults who engage children in sports activities sometimes create situations that are potentially dangerous but entirely preventable,” said Stephen G. Rice, M.D., Ph.D., FAAP, co-author of the policy statement Climatic Heat Stress and the Exercising Child and Adolescent (Pediatrics. 2011;128:e741-e747; http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/doi/10.1542/peds.2011-1664).

For example, Dr. Rice witnessed a soccer team that had to play five games on a brutally hot day, with only a 15-minute break between the last two games.

To prevent exertional heat illness, adults need...

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