Often sports like baseball, soccer and football take place in the warmest months of the year. Obviously these hot and humid conditions place the athletes at risk for heat illness. But the spectators face some of these risks as well.

Therefore it is important that anyone watching outdoor sporting events in hot weather take precautions to stay safe as well.

Dehydration is one of the main concerns for spectators. At youth sporting events, there usually aren’t restrictions on bringing drinks. Parents should bring plenty of water or sports drinks and consume them throughout the day.

Professional sporting events – or any events where the organizers charge admission – might have restrictions on spectators bringing food and drinks from outside the venue. Fans should inquire about these restrictions before the event takes place. In some instances where conditions will be especially demanding, some events allow spectators to bring water.

Protect yourself from the heat when watching sports

Another concern that spectators often forget is alcohol. While fans want to have a good time, alcohol can increase the risk for dehydration and heat illness. Not only is alcohol a diuretic, but fans can forget to take steps to stay cool as they are having fun.

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It is important to check the weather conditions before heading out. Look at both the heat and the humidity. If you have traveled for the event, you might be unfamiliar with the normal humidity for that area. And think carefully about whether you want to bring young children to the event.

People who have certain medical conditions need to be careful as well. If you take heart medications or medicines for high blood pressure, these drugs can increase your risk for dehydration and heat illness.

Finally, you should pay attention to symptoms that could indicate you are getting sick. If you feel lightheaded, dizzy, or nauseated, you should seek medical attention immediately. And since you might not recognize signs like confusion, friends and family need to watch each other for any changes.

Watching sporting events – either to watch your kids or to enjoy your favorite players and teams – can be very entertaining. Just take steps to watch safely in hot and humid weather.