Coaches Take Extra Precautions To Keep Young Athletes Cool

By: WOWT 6 News Email
By: WOWT 6 News Email
Eastern Nebraska and western Iowa are in heat advisories Monday, so coaches are keeping a close eye on student athletes in Omaha.

MGN Online

Eastern Nebraska and western Iowa are in heat advisories Monday, so coaches are keeping a close eye on student athletes in Omaha.

At Westside High School, football camp is underway so hydration is key. Coach Brett Froendt says the advice he gives kids about staying cool applies to everyone.

He tells students to drink water gradually throughout the day, and that the idea of drinking 8 glasses of water a day is false. He simply tells students to drink until they feel hydrated.

Froendt also tells kids to eat more fruits and vegetables that have high water content, like watermelons and cucumbers.

And if students are going out in the heat later, they should acclimate to the temperatures gradually. Staying inside in the air conditioning all day doesn't do them any favors.

But above all, he says keeping a close eye on those who are susceptible to the heat is the most important.

"It's awareness on the part of coaches to make sure during practice you're aware of what to watch for, signs and symptoms of heat illnesses and things like that, and then of course what to do once those symptoms present themselves," Froendt says.

As temperatures rise, Froendt says his athletes take water breaks more frequently and letting them rest for longer periods of time.

At Bellevue West, practice is moving from the turf to the grass, which can feel cooler. They're also filling up tubs with ice water on the sidelines so players can cool down quickly if they overheat.

Coaches say the idea that they make athletes toughen up and take the heat is completely false.

"We're not going to do anything to hurt our kids because here's the problem with heat stroke, not only are you bad at that time, it takes two or three days to recover from that," said Bellevue West football coach Michael Huffman. "So we're not going to do anything to jeopardize our players at the end of the week."

Doctors at the Alegent Creighton Health say limiting time outdoors and hydrating with water or sports drinks is important.

They also recommend keeping a close eye on the very young and the elderly. Elderly people commonly do not have the thirst drive younger people do, and certain medications can make them susceptible to heat.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include muscle cramps, headaches, nausea and vomiting. A patient's skin will appear hot and flushed as well.

Heat stroke victims can see those same symptoms along with being confused of disoriented. Those patients can have internal temperatures of 104 degrees or more, so they're encouraged to seek medical attention to rehydrate with IV fluids.

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