Let’s face it. Playing soccer in the fall can be hot! While parents are always on the sidelines during the season, it can be a challenge to monitor young athletes who may struggle with communication for signs of heat stroke or exhaustion.

How can you prepare your athlete for the season? Spirit League would like to introduce you to Dr. Ashika Sharma, a board-certified pediatrician who knows her way around sports medicine and children with special needs. We asked Dr. Sharma to share some tips on how to get ready for the soccer season before it even begins. Meet Dr. Sharma.

Hello! My name is Ashika Sharma and I am a board-certified Pediatrician. I have an interest in sports and kids, and I am here to share my advice on both!

With the temperatures rising, let’s talk about staying hydrated this summer. For starters, it’s important to recognize some of the signs and symptoms of dehydration including headache, lightheadedness or dizziness, excessive thirst, infrequent urination, and in the worst cases confusion or loss of consciousness.

Here are some simple tips to make sure your athlete stays hydrated when outside playing sports:

  • Drink frequently, even if they don’t seem thirsty yet. Set a timer for every 15-20 minutes!
  • Avoid drinks with caffeine or excessive sugar. Caffeine is a diuretic (water waster) and will increase water excretion from the body. Sugary snacks can also cause dehydration so keep cold, refreshing fruit like watermelon on hand!
  • Stay in the shade or have a fan nearby. Have your children wear loose, light colored clothing.

Have fun this summer, and more importantly, stay hydrated!

Questions? Comments? You can reach me by email at ashikap22@yahoo.com.

Till next time!

Ashika Sharma M.D.

Board Certified Pediatrician
Member of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Member of Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness

Next time you register your athlete for a sport, check out the Spirit League Heat Index and Hydration Policy which identifies the conditions under which Spirit League activities will be suspended and/or cancelled due to the anticipated heat index on game days together with the League’s hydration policy.

 Dr. Ashika Sharma