WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (ABC4) — One hundred degree days are putting a strain on high school student athletes, especially football players.
Coaches are coming up with better ways to keep themselves and their players from overheating.
Imagine it’s more than 100 degrees, you’re in full pads and a helmet running drills. If you aren’t properly hydrated within 10 minutes, you could pass out.
Clint Edvalson, an athletic trainer with Murray High School through Intermountain Healthcare, said hydration needs to start two to three days before a practice or game begins.
The temperature on the Granger High School football field and Jordan High School football field exceeded 145 degrees Tuesday afternoon.
Edvalson said turf traps heat more than natural grass.
The triple digit heat that occurs on and off the field can cause heat stroke quick, and it’s important high school athletes are prepared.
“It’s hotter than you think, especially with the temperatures we are experiencing and the fact we play a lot on turf,” said Edvalson.
He told ABC4 high school athletes, especially football players, need to know how to fuel their bodies to compete at a high level, because if they don’t, they may become a victim of heat stroke.
“You are no good to yourself or your team if you are in the hospital, so it is better to take the time now and take care of yourself and make sure you are not overdoing than it is to get into a life-threatening situation where we are transporting with EMS,” said Edvalson.
Signs of overheating include dizziness, lightheadedness, and heat cramps.
Coach Jess Schuck at Copper Hills High School said if you’re thirsty before practice even begins, that is a problem.
“Making sure they’re hydrating a couple days before and starting the process and getting their electrolytes and so not just drinking straight water,” said Schuck. “Some of them drink too much water and now you’re starting to cycle through electrolytes or your body they need to add back in the sodium another electrolytes back into the body so they’re able to retain that water.
Shuck said coaches have been better at recognizing when players are overheating and taking action immediately.
He said most of the time, there are water and cool down stations.
With practices for other outdoor sports going on as well, it is vital for parents to remember the overheating process can happen in a matter of minutes.
Edvalson said it’s tough to know the difference between 90 and 100 degrees, but your body knows.
He added electrolytes and sodium are key to staying hydrated.