I recently read a news story that hurt my heart.
A football coach allowed his players to practice outside in the heat and humidity in the middle of the summer in the southeastern region of the country.
If you have never experienced a summer in the southeastern region of the country, it is best described as stepping into a sauna. Just being outside can cause profuse sweating, let alone running around and practicing. The football coach had his players practicing in the middle of the afternoon when the sun was beating down with extreme heat. He let the football players get water breaks when they needed it, but water was not enough to beat the extreme heat and humidity. One of the players unfortunately passed away from heat stroke. He was only sixteen years old. The player was showing signs of heat stroke, but the coach brushed it off as him being in need of a water break. The coach was fired because the football player’s death was prevetnable. The school board met and went over regulations for practicing in the summer. The school district decided that if it is over a certain temperature, that practice must be held inside. This is not conducive for football, as being out on a field is necessary. However, keeping young athletes safe from heat related conditions is the priority. Practing inside is not ideal, however the central air conditioning can keep players cool while they are running around and tackling each other. It is important that all sports coaches keep heat related illnesses in mind so they do not push their athletes to the point of no return.