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Schools, districts account for scorching temps as fall sports get underway

Athlete taking caution in the brink of an intense heat wave
Posted at 12:07 PM, Jul 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-10 13:18:24-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The start of fall sports is just a few weeks away, and some students are already getting ahead by taking part in summer training or conditioning programs during the hot summer months.

At William Chrisman High School, a handful of students involved in football and softball are trying to stay ahead of the game by participating in morning sessions starting at 7 a.m. Official practice for the Bears doesn’t start until August.

“When practices start in school, there are times where we have to go at eight o’clock at night in order to practice because the wet bulb says we are not allowed to go outside, to be honest with you,” Greg McGhee, activities director with William Chrisman, said.

McGhee said the school has athletic trainers and other specialized staff with students at all times to make sure they stay safe while working out in the heat.

The trainer onsite also monitors outdoor temps to ensure the conditions outside are safe for students.

“We haven’t had any issues in the eight years I’ve been at William Christian High School with that,” McGhee said. “We do have the ice bath that’s available just in case a kid does overheat to be able to help them out.”

Jessica Dewitt, athletic trainer at Rockhill Orthopaedic Specialists, advises parents to keep a close eye on their children when being exposed to the heat for long hours.

She says changes in a child’s behavior, sweating profusely, and exhaustion can be indicators the child has been out in the heat for too long.

“It can have damage on our kidneys because our kidneys are having to really overwork themselves to process the lack of water or lack of those nutrients,” Dewitt said. “So you really want to make sure that you’re maintaining that balance.”

Dewitt also encourages parents to be proactive and make sure that while their children are home, they are getting all the water and nutrients they need and have an honest conversation with their children about listening to their bodies.

“They (children) want to push on through things, or they’re just having fun, and they just want to keep going,” Dewitt said. “So it’s important for the adults in this situation to really kind of monitor those.”