HISD takes action to protect athletes from heat

HOUSTON Yesterday, high school football coaches were informed about new procedures which need to stay in place until further notice. Football coaches will still be able to hold two-a-day practices, but within very specific guidelines.

Temperatures will likely reach into the 100s today and with the heat index, it will feel like 108 degrees in the shade and even hotter in the sun.

With pre-season practice already underway at many high schools, including those within HISD, coaches are required to follow procedures laid out by their school districts. Until further notice, coaches are being asked to make sure morning practices are finished by 10am and afternoon practices must start after 5pm.

Coaches must have ice towels and sponges available for students on the field. As a precaution, when they're not involved in drills, students must remove their helmets to let their bodies cool down.

Also, coaches are being asked to constantly monitor student athletes for muscle cramps, nausea, disorientation and clammy skin -- anything that could indicate the student may be suffering from heat exhaustion.

Here are the procedures that must be put in place until further notice:

  • Continue normal hydration procedures
  • Morning practices must be completed by 10am
  • Afternoon practices may start no earlier than 5pm
  • You may practice twice a day
  • Before and after practice, hydrate athletes with 16 ounces of water or sports drink
  • Remove helmets while not in drills
  • Must have ice towels/sponges in place
  • Allow athletes to have water as needed or as requested
  • Constantly monitor athletes for muscle cramps, profuse sweating, nauseous feeling, disorientation, clammy skin; when in doubt call 911
  • If athletes are not sweating during practice or drills, stop and get them cooled off and call 911.

    A good tip for parents is to make sure your kids have a couple of bottles of a sports drink with them to replace the electrolytes in their bodies that they lose when they sweat.

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