Heat poses dangers for high school players - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Heat poses dangers for high school players

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High school football players were out on the field on Wednesday getting used to the heat. High school football players were out on the field on Wednesday getting used to the heat.
High school football players were out on the field on Wednesday getting used to the heat. High school football players were out on the field on Wednesday getting used to the heat.
GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -

High school football players were out on the field on Wednesday getting used to the heat.

Official practice does not start in Georgia until August 1, but the Georgia High School Association is allowing five days of conditioning so teenagers can get used to the temperatures.

On the first day of football in Gwinnett County, lead trainer James Williams measured how safe it is for these players to be out on the field.

After heat-related incidents in Georgia last year, including the death of Locust Grove teen, 16-year old Forrest Jones, the Georgia High School Association has implemented new regulations that all high schools must follow.

Coaches and trainers have to use an instrument to assess the risk to a young player's health.

"It's actually a measure a little bit different than the heat index that's typically reported on the newscast. The wet bulb globe temperature is a calculation of the temperature in the air, as well as the humidity and then also the sun's radiation. It was actually designed by the Marine Corp back at Paris Island in the 1950's," said Williams.

On hot days, athletes have to be watched carefully and need three rest breaks an hour.  Once the reading goes up to 87, they can only practice for two hours, 90 is a max of an hour practice and over 92, outdoor workouts have to be canceled.

"Trying to keep these guys cool. It's different when you have a helmet on because the body usually loses most of the heat through the head," said Williams.

Even on relatively safe day such as Wednesday, all the athletes weren't used to the heat and were checked out as a precaution.

They'll have the next five days to acclimate until official practice starts august 1.

"There's actually an acclimatization period where as you can see our athletes are just in helmets today. That is for five days," said Williams.

Trainers said that it typically takes a week, sometimes two, for the players to acclimate.

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