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Football Players Tackle The Heat

August 29, 2012, 6:06 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

Football Players Tackle The Heat
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

With triple digit temperatures hitting parts of KELOLAND, some football coaches are taking extra precautions to make sure players don't get overheated.  But that doesn't necessarily mean cancelling practices.  While it may seem unhealthy, The American Academy of Pediatrics says it's okay to practice in the heat as long as players and coaches take the proper precautions.

It's a hard-hitting sport, but lately KELOLAND football players have been tackling more than just their opponents. They're also battling the extreme heat.

"If you start getting dizzy or your eyes get blurry or a headache, then they say take a break and get some water," senior Alex Williams said.

But O'Gorman High School senior Alex Williams says he hasn't had any problems. American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines recommend that players slowly adapt to the environment.

"They've been training in it, so it's not like we had a random hot day, and then we always have ice towels available to cool them down as quickly as possible if necessary," Orthopedic Institute Trainer Rochelle Lauret said.

Trainers and coaches also hit the heat head-on by offering more water breaks and supplements to prevent cramping and dehydration.

"We also use Pedialyte a lot and pickle juice for game situations," Lauret said.

But is there a point when coaches feel water is not enough? Sometimes they do change the time of practices.

"Sometimes you can adjust practices where you can go later in the day or towards evening, but I don't see that coming this week," O'Gorman Head Coach Steve Kueter said.

"They'll alter some things. If it's a practice day, they might just go uppers and not full pads," Lauret said.

Coaches and trainers also make sure players are on the ball and know the signs of heat-related illnesses along with how to prevent them. That's a message that Williams is hitting head-on.

"Just got to take your breaks and get some water. If you get a break, take a knee," Williams said.

The American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines don't just apply to football, but any sport being played in the heat, such as soccer or cross country.

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