ALBANY, GA (WALB) - High school football is huge in Southwest Georgia, and so is the importance of player safety.
WALB News 10's Andrew Gorton shows us how schools keep their players safe, especially during the warm summer months.
The Deerfield-Windsor football team follows strict guidelines of when they can practice outside provided by their certified athletic trainer and the Georgia High School Association.
One aspect they have to monitor is the wet bulb globe temperature, or what the temperature would be if the relative humidity was at one hundred percent.
Certified Athletic Trainer Jeff Tanner uses this device to detect the wet bulb, which measures the temperature, humidity, wind speed, sun angle and cloud cover.
"Once the wet bulb reaches 82°, then we have to start taking precautions. Prescribed rest breaks every few minutes. Once it reaches 92° degrees, that's the cutoff where we have to stop all outdoor activities and go inside," said Certified Athletic trainer Jeff Tanner.
Deerfield-Windsor also has a provider that monitors lightning strikes that could impact their team.
"They'll notify us if a storm or lightning is going to be coming within a 6 mile radius of our campus. They will give us a heads up and send us text alerts, we have a siren that will also sound off.
The Knights haven't had to take practice inside yet this season, but if they did they would change their shoes and run drills in their school gym.
Just because the team is allowed to practice outside does not mean that it's always easy.
"The first priority is having a training program during the summer in correlation with their weight training where they can get outside. They get used to the heat and acclimated a little bit before we actually ever start practicing," said head football coach Allen Lowe. .
To further combat the heat, the players don't wear pads to every practice. They take breaks every few minutes with access to water, sports drinks and shade.
"Everyday in practice it's just at least ninety degrees most of the time. I mean it's hot, but we just got to put on the pads, keep hydrated and get ready to go,"
High schools across the state follow the same guidelines during practice and games. said Junior Quarterback, Jack Kimbrel.
If a player was to get overheated, the training staff would take them to one of their cold whirlpools in their training room to cool down and rehydrate.
The goal of the training staff is for this to never happen.
That's what we as certified athletic trainer do. That's why we are on the field monitoring the kids, so we can watch them for signs of heat illness," said Tanner.
For more safety precautions taken by Georgia high schools, click here.
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