The academic year may not have started yet, but for area high schools football training is already in session.But as the mercury rises- so does the concern of heat related illness.
According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of 66 hospitals between 2001 and 2009, almost one forth of all emergency room heat illnesses were caused by football. For males between the ages of 15 and 19, football was the cause of 57% of all non-fatal emergency room visits and in 2010 two high school football players died of heat stroke. "Without prompt treatment, heat illnesses can lead to organ failure, brain damage and death," the CDC said.
Parkersburg South's football practice, trainer Jonathan Rodriguez says he's keeping a close eye on how the students are tolerating the heat.
"First and foremost, we are allowing unlimited water availability. We're not going with the old school 'suck it up and deal with it,'" Rodriguez says. "Coaches, knowing me for a second year, are allowing the players to come up to me with more discretion, with more openness, and less questions. So, it's just availability that the players are having with in both the water resource and myself as a resource."
The CDC says athletes generally do not voluntarily drink enough water to prevent dehydration. They recommend drinking water before, during, and after physical activity or else, "by the time you're thirsty, you're already dehydrated."