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515 Sport and leisure activities in the heat: what safety resources exist?
  1. Marlon Gonsalves
  1. Federation University, Ballarat, Australia


Background To mitigate the risk of rising temperatures to the Australian sports community, several extreme heat guidelines have been published. However, limited evaluation has taken place on these resources. Therefore, the aim of the study is to develop an understanding of the content of heat-related sports injury prevention resources.

Methods Heat resources were included if they dealt specifically with, or could be extrapolated to, prevention of heat-related injuries. Collating strategies for the catalogue included: (1) a detailed search of the organisation’s website and (2) an online search for sport specific heat resources. A content analysis of each resource was first performed, and descriptive codes were assigned to the data using qualitative data analysis software. Every coded text was recorded as an individual data point (n).

Results A total of 468 data points were identified within the 64 heat resources found. Guidelines (n=20) and policies (n=18) were the most common type of resources followed by factsheets (n=9), webpages (n=8), laws and by-laws (n=2). Three overarching categories emerged through the data analysis process: preventive strategies (n=299, 63.9%), risk factors (n=94, 20.1%), treatment (n=75, 16.0%). Activity modification, which included information on rescheduling games and extra breaks, was the most common intervention. Cricket, soccer, swimming, and triathlon had the most complete set of heat resources.

Conclusion The findings of this study provide an insight into the composition of heat-related sports injury prevention resources within Australia and identifies areas for development. As the resources were incomplete for many sports, the development of more comprehensive heat safety resources is required to ensure the safety of participants.

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