Safety Measures One Local High School Football Teams Uses To Avoid Heat Exhaustion

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Updated By: Emily Johnson
August 14, 2014

Thomasville, GA - It's a story we brought you last night on Eyewitness News. A high school football player died after collapsing during practice. We still don't know the exact cause of death, but reports say the boy's coach called 911 for a heat injury.

With high schools gearing up for football season we checked at a local high school to see what it does to keep players safe and healthy on the field.

Sean Hutchinson, Director of Sports Medicine at Thomasville High School said he takes his job very seriously as an Athletic Trainer. He said the football program has safety precautions in place to prevent heat exhaustion illnesses.

"They're getting water throughout practice, it's nonstop. They come out of a drill they're getting some sort of water," said Hutchinson.

Hutchinson said for THS Football practice they have a cooling tent, with coolers and cooling fans ready for the players. He said there's also an ice bath there ready for when players really start to heat up.

"If he starts getting cramps he's moved immediately under that tent," said Hutchinson.

Hutchinson tells us the best way to prevent a player from getting heat exhaustion is to have them drink plenty of fluids throughout the day before practice. THS Head Coach Leroy Ryals also agrees.

"We try to preach to our kids the night before is very important for hydration. That morning having a good breakfast, hydrating your body, because when you are putting water in the body during practice you're just quenching a thirst," said Coach Ryals.

Thomasville High tell us they also follow the strict guidelines set by the Georgia High School Association regarding heat and humidity.

News Release: Associated Press
August 14, 2014

STARKE, Fla. (AP) -- A 14-year-old high school football player died in northeast Florida after collapsing during a practice being held at his team's football camp.

The Clay County Sheriff's Office reports that the boy was a home-school student who played for his local team at Sebastian River High School on the central Florida coast. Officials did not release his name.

The team was at Camp Blanding conducting its start-of-the-season camp when the boy fell ill.

In a 911 recording, a coach reported that a player needed medical assistance for a "heat injury" and that he had vomited and was conscious. He said staff members were trying to cool the boy down with water.

The boy was taken to Shands Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

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