Vigorous exercise places some people at risk of heat illness, especially in hot weather.

If untreated, heat illness can lead to the more serious and potentially life-threatening condition of heat stroke. By understanding the causes of heat illness health professionals, coaches, players and anyone involved in sport or physical activity can help prevent heat illness by using the advice provided in the Guidelines to minimise the risks.

Most of the advice involves simple rules of common sense. Listen to your body and stop or slow down if you feel unwell. This is particularly important for children. Make sure that you have access to cool drinking water, wear a good hat and take particular care in the hottest parts of the day or year.

The target audience for the Guidelines are all Australians who undertake sport and physical activity, but they will be particularly useful to health professionals involved in the promotion of physical activity, coaches, fitness leaders and sports administrators.

Beat the Heat Fact Sheet

Hot Weather Guidelines

Extreme Heat Policy

The SMA Extreme Heat Policy was developed with the support of the University of Sydney Thermal Ergonomics Laboratory in the School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health. SMA would like to acknowledge Professor Ollie Jay, Associate Professor Carolyn Broderick and Dr James Smallcombe for their assistance in developing this resource.

In 2023, SMA and The University of Sydney launched an online tool to asses your susceptibility to heat risk when playing sport. Input your sport and location to get the risk assessment, and recommendations for managing these heat risks.

UV Exposure & Heat Illness Guide

A joint venture between Sports Medicine Australia’s Smartplay and the Cancer Council’s Sunsmart has produced a UV Exposure and Heat Illness Guide.  The guide provides up to date information on UV exposure and heat illness, tips for creating, reviewing and implementing local guidelines, a modifiable UV exposure and heat illness checklist and real-life examples.

UV Exposure and Heat Illness Guide