Heat related injury concerns spur call for hydration management - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Heat related injury concerns spur call for hydration management

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A sudden spike in temperatures and humidity caught young athletes off-guard over the weekend.

Eight Doss High School football players and one coach were treated for heat related injuries Saturday, following a game against Pleasure Ridge Park High School. That same day, one Ballard Player was also treated during a game with St. Xavier.

JCPS is now looking into whether Doss football coaches and game officials took necessary precautions and followed rules laid out by the Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA).

According to KHSAA rules, a football game must be called off once the heat index reaches 100 degrees. JCPS spokesperson Ben Jackey says although it never reached 100 degrees while the game was being played, the game was eventually called off anyway.

"The last measurement that was taken at 1:15 p.m. calculated to about 99 degrees--which still allows us to play--but the coaches decided it wasn't safe," said Jackey. "The Doss coach went out to the officials and said enough is enough."

Trainers with the Dr. Rudy J. Ellis Sports Medicine Center were at the game volunteering Saturday and say KHSAA standards were met. Representatives say that coaches met requirements by providing iced towels on the sideline, making players remove helmets and excess pads when they weren't playing, and adding extra water breaks.

Athletic trainer Danny Hass says much of the problem isn't because of coaches, rather, the players weren't prepared for the sudden spike in temperatures.

"These kids have been used to these cooler temperatures, so when they all of a sudden get thrown into these high temperatures, their bodies are not acclimated to it."

Hass says athletes should be consuming lots of water not just the day before a big game, but for the entire week leading up to the event. He suggests players weigh themselves before and after every practice to measure the loss of water weight. Hass says players should not lose more than five pounds, and most of that weight should be put back on before the next practice.

Hass also suggests shedding helmets and pads when on the sidelines.

"Most of your heat is going to be trapped by the helmet because most of your heat is evaporated through the head," he said. "Take those helmets off so the heat can dissipate."

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