Baseball and softball diamonds across the state are busy this week and with temperatures soaring above 90-degrees players, coaches and parents need to take precaution to avoid heat-related illnesses. Don Bishop is the head athletic trainer at the University of Northern Iowa, he says the first heat-wave of the summer can be especially difficult. He says athletes should gradually get used to the hotter weather, and shouldn’t go right out and do their typical workout.

Bishop the keys to battling the heat are being properly hydrated before the game and during the game athletes should continue to drink fluids. Bishop says it is important to be hydrated before you go outside — don’t just show up and start drinking.

Bishop says it is important to recognize the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke such as fatigue, loss of performance, muscle cramping and vomiting. That will move into heat exhaustion where they are dizzy, have a rapid pulse, a headache, sweating or clammy skin, nausea, vomiting. He says when it moves beyond that and they become confused, more drowsy, and again nausea, and that’s where it becomes an emergency situation. He says spectators are also vulnerable and advises finding a shady area if possible.