Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions
High School Athletics Heat Policy Assessment
Unsplash/Nigel Msipa

High School Athletics Heat Policy Assessment

Children are uniquely vulnerable to the impacts of extreme heat, particularly during intense physical activities. As young athletes often train and compete during high-temperature periods, they are more susceptible to heat-related illnesses, including heat exhaustion, heat cramps, and in severe cases, potentially life-threatening heat stroke. Developing a comprehensive understanding of how extreme heat affects student-athletes is essential to creating effective preventive strategies and safety guidelines that prioritize athletes' health and safety.

A July 2023 Nicholas Institute policy brief offers a comprehensive strategy for high school athletics associations to ensure the health and well-being of student-athletes as they train and compete in high temperatures.


A Game Plan for Heat Stress: Policy Recommendations for High School Sports

High school athletic associations (HSAAs) bear the responsibility of ensuring the health and safety of student-athletes. Exertional heat illness poses a significant risk, making this a task of increasing urgency in light of climate change and rising temperatures.

This policy brief builds on prior research to offer recommendations to HSAAs as part of an ongoing commitment to safeguard student-athletes from heat-related illnesses. The recommendations target improvements in measurements, guidelines, plans, universal application, and funding.