By Rich Davis

The Heat is On

Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS. LM1X. Paul O'DONOVAN, using the re useable water bottle. afternoon heat at the 2014 FISA World Rowing Championships. Photo by Peter Spurrier.

Warm weather and sunny days bring pleasant rowing. But summer also brings its own safety hazards, which can be avoided with careful oversight. Sunscreen should be applied liberally 15 to 30 minutes before going out, and reapplied if you are exposed to the sun for an extended period of time. Wearing the right gear—a hat with a brim, light protective clothing, and sunglasses—also provides important protection from the sun’s damaging rays. According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, long-term exposure to UV rays can damage the eye’s surface as well as its internal structures, sometimes contributing to cataracts (clouding of the lens) and macular degeneration (breakdown of the macula). With warmer temperatures, proper hydration becomes an increasing concern. Make sure you are bringing your own water bottles in the boat and taking adequate breaks during practice to consume more water. Drink even if you don’t feel thirsty; you become dehydrated before you start to feel it. Water bottles should be kept clean and never shared to prevent illness. Be on the lookout for the telltale signs of heat exhaustion: heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, fatigue, dizziness, headache, and nausea or vomiting.