How to Keep Your Athlete Safe from the Cold

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How to Keep Your Athlete Safe from the Cold

How to Keep Your Athlete Safe from the Cold

In cold weather, bodies lose heat faster than they can produce it, which can lead to serious health problems like hypothermia or frostbite. Child and teen athletes who participate in or attend cold-weather sports may be at risk for these and other cold-related illnesses or injuries.

“While anyone practicing or competing in cold temperatures is at risk for cold-related illness and injury, there are some groups who need to be particularly careful out in the elements,” says Children’s Athletic Trainer Tiffany Swales. “Young athletes are at greater risk for cold-weather injuries because they are genetically predisposed. Extra precautions should be taken by these athletes when playing outdoors.”

The key to preventing cold-weather illnesses and injuries is being properly prepared for the elements. Growing athletes who play and compete in the cold should:

  • Wear layers to make it easy to remove or add clothing as conditions and exertion levels change.
  • Wear technical fabrics that wick moisture and sweat, which can help your teen stay dry.
  • Stay hydrated with water or a sports drink.
  • Maintain a well-balanced diet.
  • Bring extra shoes, socks, clothes, and gloves to replace any item that gets wet.

To learn more about the sports medicine program at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, please visit

Insight above was provided by Tiffany Swales, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Pediatric Athletic Trainer and Supervisor.

Disclaimer: This content is general information and is not specific medical advice. Always consult with a doctor or healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about the health of a child. In case of an urgent concern or emergency, call 911.