South Ga. coaches stress heat safety for athletes
ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - With temperatures nearing the 100s for the next week, many athletic coaches are stressing the importance of taking care of your body.
Jake McCrae is the head football coach at Deerfield-Windsor School.
“It’s a double-edged sword. Because at some point in time, you have to go out,” McCrae said. “You have to deal with it, and you have to teach the kids how to acclimate themselves to the heat. But you don’t want to push them too hard too fast. So there’s a balance.”
The CDC says heat illness is a leading cause of death in U.S. high school athletes.
McCrae said hydration is something he has to keep up with.
“You have to maintain and you have to check the fluids all the time just like an automobile. You know an athlete’s not much different,” McCrae said.” You have to be constantly on the lookout for kids who are waiting and are depleted. You have to be on your toes the whole time.”
Meghan Herendeen is the public information officer and risk communicator for the Southwest Health District.
“You’d look for things like excessive sweating, pale skin, any kind of muscle cramps, nausea, things like that,“ she said. “The first thing is going to be to call 911. If you can, get that person into a shaded area. Somewhere where they can start cooling off. And then let the medical professionals handle it from there.”
Herendeen said these are symptoms of a heat stroke. She also said you should take frequent breaks when you feel sick and stay in the shade as much as possible.
When you can, try to practice indoors. That’s what Georgia Southwestern State University Head Baseball Coach Josh McDonald said they primarily do in the heat.
There are other ways to keep hydrated besides water.
“A lot of times, you get the younger generation they get confused in that aspect that they don’t like to taste the water. But you also have the option to flavor your water too, which I think is a big deal for especially younger kids,” McDonald said. “Also the ability to eat certain foods, like of a lot of fruits, there’s a lot of opportunities to have the ability to keep you hydrated as well.”
Copyright 2022 WALB. All rights reserved.