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Football Coaches Adapt to Keep Players Safe in Extreme Heat

By Daniel Cherry | Published 08 Aug 2011 08:57pm | comments

Three high school football players have died across the country in the past two weeks due to the massive heat wave. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports how football coaches in Mississippi are changing routines to protect their players.

Players are stretching before football practice at Clinton High School. When practice starts, it's still in the mid 90's and the heat index is even higher. Brock Nolan a senior longsnapper, says with all the gear it can be tough to cool down.

"Oh man the pads kill you. No breeze comes through, or the helmet really. You've just got to take breaks and cool off whenever you need to."

Clinton Coach Scott Brown is taking action to avoid any tragedies. He's moved practice back to 5pm, and water breaks aren't taken lightly.

"They'll practice for 15 minutes, and then we're going to give them a 5 minute water break where they're going to be inactive, drinking water as much as they want during those 5 minutes. We also, the players, have an understood policy, they can get water anytime during practice. Even if we're not in a water break, if a kid wants to leave a drill or something like that, they're allowed to, to get water."

Coaches are now heeding the advice of health professionals like Dr. Richard Summers. He's the Chairman of Emergency Medicine at the University of Mississippi Medical School. Dr. Summers says active individuals need to drink continuously, and if your body starts to send messages...it's time to listen.

"One of the late signs that's almost the point of an emergency is when your skin feels dry or almost clammy. That's a condition where you really need to get cooled off, have some emergency care, some emergency hydration."

Dr. Summers says since August 1st the UMC emergency room has treated 13 heat related cases.

 

 

 

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