Shelby: Yep! Believe it or not, staying cool during this summer’s record heat wave has become a matter of life and death. I hit the fields and talked to everyone from football players to band members to find out how they have been sweating it out while staying safe.
It has been one of the hottest summers on record.
“Dreadful! Just dreadful.”
Shelby: But that hasn’t stopped students from heading back to the training field.
“I love band. You can’t just quit!”
Shelby: For Pasadena Memorial High School’s marching band in Texas, practices have been moved earlier and water breaks are taken frequently.
“If you don’t maintain their awareness of their body temperature and their fluid intake and everything, it could be an issue.”
Shelby: Athletes are also feeling the heat. And after three players died on the practice field earlier this month, school sports teams across the country are taking similar precautions.
In order to keep students safe, the Academy of Pediatrics issued new heat guidelines for student athletes last week. They include having more water breaks, allowing more time to recover between vigorous activities, and even cancelling practice if temperatures get too high.
At Woodbridge High School in New Jersey, light clothing, later practice times, and plenty of liquids are key.
“It’s very hot out here, but I got my water and my Gatorade with me.”
“We’re very very cautious about it. It’s not worth it for any kid to go down out here, so they get as many water breaks as they need.”
Shelby: And at Neman High School in Louisiana, weigh-ins before and after practices are also helping players stay safe.
“They’ll weigh-in before and after every practice and we’ll monitor their weight loss and make sure that by the time the next practice starts their weight is where they were to begin with. And if they’re down more than 2%, we hold them out of practice.”
Shelby: Trainers are also monitoring practices because even wearing just a helmet can be too much. While it doesn’t affect the body’s core temperature, direct sunlight can cause temps within the helmet to rise by 15 degrees. Full-gear practices can also heat things up.
“It’s going to be tough because of the heat. Because the pads — that’s 8 pounds more on you. So yeah, you’ll sweat more and you’ll need to be more hydrated.”
Shelby: August practices are often the hottest. But as experienced seniors know, the worst is almost over.
Does it get better, this?
“Yeah definitely. It gets cooler, sun goes down earlier.”
“It does definitely get easier as the season progresses.”
Shelby: Don’t forget, you can find more tips to stay safe while exercising in hot weather over at Channelone.com.
- How are student athletes staying safe in the heat?
- Do you have any tips to share with athletes about staying cool and safe while practicing in a heat wave?