Playing Safe in the Heat - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Playing Safe in the Heat

Heat advisories have been effect over the last couple of days here in Texoma and the triple digit temperatures have a lot of parents concerned because their kids are practicing sports outside.

Staying hydrated is just the first step in fighting heat related illnesses. The coaching staff at Hirschi High School makes sure that their players get at least a 5 minute water break every 20 minutes. They also make sure water is available at all times.

Hirschi High School Athletic Trainer Steven Offield said "One of the things that we are doing is practicing early in the morning. We start practice at 8 O'clock and we are off the field by 11:30 12 O'clock. Just to make sure we are not practicing in the heat of the day".

It's recommended any type of strenuous work outside be done in the morning hours when it is the coolest.  

Offield said "If the temperature is 100 degrees or a heat index of 105 we limit our practice to 2 hours and every 20 minutes we have breaks."

The football practices follow the Wichita Falls Independent School Districts Heat Protocol. At 105 degrees or a 110 degree heat index practice can only last 90 minutes with no pads. If temperatures rise above that outside practices are not allowed.

Coaches and Trainers are constantly on the lookout for symptoms of heat related illnesses.

Slater said "When you talk to a kid you know if he comprehends what you are saying. If he doesn't and he seems like he is kind of lost. You might pull him over and say hey man how are you feeling. If he is feeling bad. We have him take his hat off and we make sure he gets lots of water down him. And then off course if they start cramping up that's another indication that they need some water."

The coaches and trainers also watch for anyone acting lethargic or who stops sweating.

Offield said the players must weigh in and weigh out every day. If a player loses 3 percent of their body weight after one practice and has not gained that weight back by the next day. He cannot practice.

The school is also supplying Powerade to their players after practice to help them not only rehydrate but to also replace electrolytes their bodies loose when they sweat.

The WFISD has heat protocols for all outdoor sports. The protocol for football is the strictest of them all.

James Parish Newschannel 6

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