Water breaks, ice baths, modified training: Youth sports organisers do more to beat the


WHAT IS CONSIDERED TOO HOT?

But when is it too hot to stop physical activities outdoors?

Dr Ian Mathews, senior consultant at the National University Hospital’s department of emergency medicine, said there is no fixed temperature to determine this, but an average temperature of 36 degrees Celsius coupled with Singapore’s humidity is already in the dangerous territory.

Humidity last week was around 75 per cent due to the recent rainy season, Dr Mathews noted.

Singapore also uses the Wet-Bulb Globe Temperature in assessing heat stress. Days of high heat stress occur when wet bulb temperatures equal or exceed 33 degrees Celsius, with Singapore experiencing 37 such days last year.

Dr Mathews said: “Roughly anything above outdoor temperatures of 32 degrees, in our climate, we should already start thinking about ensuring adequate hydration beforehand.

“When we’re getting to 36 degrees Celsius, we should start thinking to hold off such exercise and activities as well.”

He noted that youths are more vulnerable to heat injuries compared with adults for a variety of reasons, including a high basal metabolic rate. 

Youths also absorb more environmental heat, which increases their core body temperature, and they sweat less and at higher temperatures.

“More importantly, (a lot of adults) make conscious efforts to hydrate before exercise, before sport. But kids may not have that same mentality … to actively hydrate before an event, and they only seek hydration when they are thirsty or dehydrated already,” Dr Mathews said.

He advised that youths wear loose clothing during sporting activities. If they start feeling drowsy or lethargic, they should be moved to a shaded area and their clothing should be removed or loosened.

Dr Mathews also pointed out some early signs and symptoms of heat injuries, including dizziness, lightheadedness, headaches, nausea, vomiting and profuse sweating.

‘You can actually stop sweating because of the body being too dehydrated as well, so those are more dangerous warning signs. Please call an ambulance in those situations,” he added.



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