'We have ice bags, cooling towels.' DPS prepares student-athletes for practices during extreme heat

Akilah Davis Image
Tuesday, September 5, 2023
Schools take precautions to keep student-athletes safe in heat
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School districts are going to great lengths to make sure student athletes are safe while practicing in extreme heat.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- School districts are going to great lengths to make sure student-athletes are safe while practicing in extreme heat. At Jordan High School, staffers began preparing for the scorcher in the morning.

Sarah Bell, the certified athletic trainer on site, prepared ice water and cooling towels for practice. She took ABC11 outside to show off the wet bulb globe thermometer. This is how she gauges if student-athletes will practice outdoors or not.

"You can see the temperature is 97. Then we have humidity at 51 percent. The heat index is already at 115," said Bell. "We do have a mandate from the district that because of the suspected heat today, no teams will be able to go out until 6 o clock."

Soccer player Micah Davis hydrates throughout the day ahead of practicing in extreme heat.

"It's gruesome kind of," said Davis. "It's hard to stay out. There's so shade out on the soccer field. I know the football players probably feel the same way."

They do. Football player Kamari Blue told ABC11 he's conditioned himself to deal with these difficult conditions.

"I'm just trying to stay focused on what I have to do in the field," said Blue. "Just doing my job on the field so I can help my team."

Even as temperatures cool off and outdoor practice happens Bell is always looking for signs of heat exhaustion in hopes of preventing heat stroke.

"We have ice bags. We have towels. We have electrolytes. It's about getting them to a shaded area and cooling their bodies down as quickly as possible," said Bell.

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