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Should schools still hold sports days in very high temperatures?

29 replies

Holldstock1 · 15/06/2017 08:59

What does everyone think of this? The reason why I'm asking is that yesterday youngest DS - he's 15 years old, came home from school at the usual time, after his school had held sports day. Yesterday it was very hot round here.

I didn't twig there was an actual problem at first - his room was a complete mess again, (after having me on his back Saturday to get the cess pit cleared!), so I launched into one when he got home. Yes I know that alot of MN will say 'Oh you are a bad mother, what is a messy room, he's a teenager, etc etc', but I'm afraid I don't agree for a number of reasons why its acceptable - we all parent differently. I'm prepared to get 'roasted' on this, and there's nothing you can say to me where I haven't already castigated myself on missing it, but I want you to also look at what I'm actually asking.

So he spent quite a bit of time clearing up. I'm afraid I was unsympathetic, because he often trashes his room (and his older brother), on going problem which infuriates me, and makes any tidy up a very long, whiny, difficult process where he delays as much as possible, argues, says he's too tired and gets stroppy. So I thought he was using his usual tactics and acted accordingly.

Then I saw his legs, the tops of his legs were sun burnt. By the time I saw that and asked him how he'd got burnt he told me he had had Sports Day (parents don't go to Secondary School SDs at his school) and his complaints about muscle pains, headache (which I'd earlier made him take tablets for and have drinks), tiredness, disorientation and confusion etc etc made me realize he was quite possibly affected by sun stroke/heat stroke. I obviously then went through all the usual things you would do to help someone whose been in the sun too long.

He's going into school and seems better but he'll be going in late because he's still not quite right and I want to make sure before I take him in.

I am annoyed at myself that I hadn't realised there was a problem - obviously I wouldn't have made him sort out his room if I had. I'm tough but not heartless.

But I'm also abit annoyed with the school. I know that its tradition for schools to hold sports days in the summer, but considering the extreme temperatures we are getting, kids sitting out in the middle of a unshaded sports field for hours and exercising in the heat, I can't help but think that maybe this should have been postponed. Looking up Heat Stroke on line it recommends avoidance of the sun, extreme exercise etc when there are very high temperatures.

Whether we like it or not, our planet is going through Climate Change, and the planet is getting alot warmer. My question is should people actually start looking at what things are done at certain times of the year and maybe move things like Sports Days to different times of the year?? I just think its crazy, and irresponsible, to have kids exercising and exposed to very high temperatures just because its traditional to hold Sports Days in summer.

If I ran my dogs around in the heat of the day yesterday, they would have collapsed and I would probably be reported to the RSPCA. We are currently only walking our dogs very early in the morning or quite late when its cooler. I know I wouldn't have felt like running races when it was so hot.

So why should we ignore the temperatures when it comes to our children??

Unless or until, humans are able to slow down or halt Global Warming, do you think that we need to really look at adjusting some of our activities, like in the case of school sports days, holding them at different and cooler times of the year???

I may not respond to this thread for a while as I will shortly be driving DS into school and braving the A14 at rush hour, but I am interested in what you all think.

OP posts:

offblackeggshell · 15/06/2017 09:06

DD's primary and secondary schools have both previously cancelled sports days due to heat. They also ensure the DC sit in shade between events.


caffeinestream · 15/06/2017 09:06

The school should be taking precautions - making sure there's plenty of shade available, and providing plenty of water. But, it was only the high twenties yesterday. Okay, it's hot and unpleasant but I don't think that those temperatures require things to be cancelled.

As for the sunburn - surely at 15yo, he's old enough to realise he should be covering up/putting cream on when he knows he has sports day outside all day?


Me264 · 15/06/2017 09:09

Extreme temperatures?! It was about 26/27 yesterday in the SE. That's hardly extreme. Just normal summer weather! There should be shade provided but at 15 he is old enough to put some suncream on and make sure he has plenty to drink.


NannyR · 15/06/2017 09:15

It was hot here yesterday, 25 degrees, but I wouldn't say that was extreme or dangerously hot. Children do sports and PE regularly in countries that exceed that temperature without coming to harm.
At 15 he should know how to keep safe in the Sun, using hat and sunscreen and drinking plenty.

As an aside, heat stroke and heat exhaustion are two different things, heat stroke is a life threatening condition where your body cannot regulate its temperature and you would need to be admitted to hospital as an emergency. It's possible he had heat exhaustion rather than heat stroke.


Onelastpage · 15/06/2017 09:18

At that age, my mother would have stuffed a bottle of sun lotion and water in my bag and reminded me to use it (not every day but when she gave me them - probably last week) and expected school to remind me before sports. But ultimately the responsibility would have been mine - and to be honest I was reguarded as quite coddled by my peers!

I do think school should have prompted them and reminded them about sunscreen/protection the day before - just because teenagers are notoriously casual about things like that. But he is very nearly an adult and has to be aware of these things. Surely he goes out with his friends all day on Saturdays sometimes?


OliveSoap · 15/06/2017 09:19

I think that as others have said yabu about a 15 year old, who is old enough to take responsibility for dehydration and sunscreen etc. My five year old had his school sports day yesterday, and it was extremely hot and sunny, but I covered him in sunscreen, sent him off with a hat and a water bottle, and the teachers sat them in the shade between events as much as possible. He was absolutely exhausted when he got home, though.


TripTrapTripTrapOverTheBridge · 15/06/2017 09:19

Extreme temperatures? In the UK?!!! Are you used to living in a fridge?

At secondary kids don't take part in much for sports day. Some (most) nothing at all. So for many, it's just likr any other time in the sun with their mates. Not a problem


NerrSnerr · 15/06/2017 09:20

He's 15. I assume you've taught him to put sun cream on and keep hydrated? It really hasn't been that hot.

I'd be pissed off if a 5 year old came home burned but a 15 year old needs to learn to care for themselves.


olliegarchy99 · 15/06/2017 09:22

at 15 he is surely old enough to know about drinking plenty of water, seeking shade (in the break between events) and using sun cream.
Goodness - they are trying to get votes for 16 y/o - not to say there are not eminently sensible 16/17 yos.Shock
I thought this was about 30+ degree heat and small children roasting in the heat not teenagers !


PhilODox · 15/06/2017 09:23

My primary aged children know they should cover up, stick to shade, wear a hat and sunscreen and drink more in warm weather, your DS is 15! All the best athletes are from hot countries or train in hot countries Confused 26 isn't really hot, though I accept it's more unusual for UK.


CheeseOfHearts · 15/06/2017 09:23

They need to be organised for it certainly. I was in one once held in the middle of a large field with no shade, no suncream, no drinks provided, no sunhats, anything. I ended up being taken home by my mum with what was probably sunstroke (very faint, nauseous, talking nonsense). If schools are prepared, and keep a close eye on kids to make sure that they're not adversely affected, fine. If they don't have the facilities to do this, then yeah, it should be cancelled. It's bloody dangerous otherwise.


Floralnomad · 15/06/2017 09:23

The maximum yesterday was 26/27 , your ds is 15 , more than capable of applying sun cream and filling a water bottle , stop being so precious .


MrsOllyMurs · 15/06/2017 09:40

Was there plenty of shade available? I would hate to be out in the sun all day, even with a hat and sunscreen. So if there was no shade then yanbu. If, on the other hand, there was plenty of time and space to escape the sun then yabu.
Our school more often than not cancels sports day due bad weather - if it was cancelled due to the heat it might never go ahead! Provision should be made for staying safe in the sun and heat though.


TheClaws · 15/06/2017 09:49

YABU. Older kids should be able to apply and reapply sunscreen, wear hats, drink water, and stay in shade if possible. My children regularly have sports days in weather over 35c. They just know how to cope with it as it's not really practical to cancel sport altogether (although in summer sport is moved to the morning rather than the afternoon).


ShanghaiDiva · 15/06/2017 09:52

Well I live in Asia so would probably still have my cardigan on in 27 degree weather. My dcs have sports day in spring in similar temperatures. I do think the school needs to ensure there are shaded areas for children to sit between races, water should be supplied, children should be wearing hats and sunscreen. I would expect a 15 year old to have the sense to wear a hat and sunscreen.
I don't think that 27 degrees warrants cancelling the event, but school should ensure the event is sun safe. You can always use an umbrella for shade.


SuperBeagle · 15/06/2017 09:53

Extreme temperatures. Grin

Come to Australia, OP.


londonmummy1966 · 15/06/2017 09:55

Whilst I agree that a 15 year old should know to apply sun cream and keep hydrated I do recall my 15 year old self struggling with PE in the heat as our school sports area had no shade and no running water to refill bottles. I could end up feeling sick from the heat just from waiting in line to play rounders.
Also I have reddish hair and very pale skin and I found just being in the heat yesterday a real nightmare let alone running etc. People have different reactions to the heat and if your son is one of those who struggle I have some sympathy (but if so at 15 he should have some idea of avoiding sun burn).


MackerelOfFact · 15/06/2017 09:57

There's nothing 'extreme' about sub-30°C temperatures!

When the weather is warmer than you're accustomed to, it's sensible to wear a high factor suncream, drink plenty of water, seek shade, and cover up as much as possible. By the age of 15, this should have been drummed into him for at least a decade.

Also, I'm pretty sure the RSCPA aren't going round prosecuting pet owners who walk their dogs during the day in June, what nonsense.


Allthebestnamesareused · 15/06/2017 09:57

I live near part of the A14 and it was about 27 yesterday. It's hotter today. Our school has double games and triple games twice a week. 15 years of age - he should know how to protect himself from the sun by wearing hat, sitting in shade etc especially if he is fair enough to burn yesterday. YABU to expect tge school to cancel sports day or to baby secondary aged kids!


shinyredbus · 15/06/2017 09:59

Errrr it's about 32deg everyday all yet round where my family (and I used to) live / we still had lots of outdoor activities, surely your 15-year old knows he has to put sunblock on? Sorry op YABU.


TheNaze73 · 15/06/2017 10:20

I'd hardly call 28c extreme temperatures....


Floralnomad · 15/06/2017 10:20

Perhaps the OP has super sensitive dogs as well . We've just got back from a run round the local Heath , it's 27 in my lounge with 2 fans going and my dog has chosen to go and sunbathe in the conservatory , he certainly doesn't look near to collapse ! ( and he's a black dog) .


AuntieStella · 15/06/2017 10:27

Temperatures have been at British hot/summery for a few days, but that's about 26-29c. That isn't a dangerous level for a school sports day (which is mostly hanging around).

He has not become unwell, though he has been being hot/grotty and tired.

At 15, he really should have learned about using sunscreen properly. Though at that age they sometimes need to make a mistake to realise it matters (as I tell myself, because one of mine had their first sunburn at that age).

By mid teens, all you can do is supply suncream, water and a sunhat (which almost certainly won't be worn, but you'll feel better if you do it) and hope that they have really learned the summer health and safety lessons that they'll probably have been eyerolling at for a while.


RoseVase2010 · 15/06/2017 12:39

At 15 he should be able to apply his own sunscreen and get his own drink of water, it was warm yesterday but early to mid-20s isn't hot. Certainly not enough to cancel sports day.

If he was a four year old may understand the concern but 15 is plenty old enough to deal with a mildly warm day.


TheHauntedFishtank · 15/06/2017 12:50

Well of course if it's 30 degrees all year where you live you get acclimatised and it isn't a big deal! It's a fact that heat exhaustion is more likely when temperatures suddenly rise. Therefore reasonable precautions like exercising in the cooler part of the day, having shade available etc should be taken. Whether OP's son ignored those or the school did is key to who is being unreasonable here....

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