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The second Summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, People's Republic of China: preparing youth athletes to compete in the heat

Authors Brito J, Racinais S, Nassis GP

Received 29 June 2014

Accepted for publication 27 July 2014

Published 1 September 2014 Volume 2014:5 Pages 205—207


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 5

Editor who approved publication: Professor Freddie H Fu

Joao Brito,1 Sebastien Racinais,2 George P Nassis,1,3

1National Sports Medicine Programme, Excellence in Football Project, Aspetar – Qatar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Qatar; 2Athlete Health and Performance Research Centre, Aspetar – Qatar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Qatar; 3School of Physical Education and Sport Science, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece
All authors contributed equally to this manuscript

Abstract: The second Summer Youth Olympic Games will take place August 16–28, 2014 in Nanjing, People's Republic of China during the peak of the summer. Nanjing has been reported as one of the hottest cities in the People's Republic of China, with temperatures reaching as high as 40°C. There is limited clinical evidence of the real risks that youth athletes face when training and competing in the heat, but some recommendations can be made. The estimated average wet bulb globe temperature for Nanjing in August is 32°C, which has been classified as a very high risk/stop play condition for heat illness and injury. Training and competing under extreme heat conditions could stress the thermoregulatory system and adversely affect health and performance. However, current guidelines appear to be inadequate or too conservative, and mostly focus on adult elite athletes. Therefore, proper preventive measures are warranted to reduce the risks of heat illness and injury. With proper heat acclimatization and monitoring, youth athletes can exercise reasonably well and safely in the heat. During the second Summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, People's Republic of China, special attention should be devoted to athletes exposed to long and extensive sunny and hot conditions.

Keywords: youth sports, heat acclimatization, thermoregulation

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