PHILADELPHIA, PA, September 04, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Alanna Waters
is a lacrosse coach for young players. A former player herself, Waters knows exactly how blazing temperatures can make outside playing conditions uncomfortable and even dangerous for young athletes. Now, she is issuing comment on a new article
that describes new guidelines regarding athletes and hot weather in the state of Oklahoma.
Football camps in Tulsa, Oklahoma will look different this year, as coaches are required to follow new guidelines that recently went into effect in order to keep children safe as they participate in outdoor athletics during the hot summer months. The Oklahoma Athletic Trainers Association and the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Association created the new guidelines, which went into effect on July 1st. The new rules state that practices must be limited to 2 1/2 hour sessions, with a minimum of one hour between sessions. Practices cannot last for more than five hours combined in one day. Coaches must also know what the heat index will be that day prior to beginning practice.
Currently, heat-related illness is the leading cause of preventable death among high school students, so these regulations are a necessary step to keep young athletes safe as they participate in athletics during the summer.
Football coach Kirk Fridrich states, "You obviously have to take those safety precautions and take them seriously." He goes on to explain that many schools had already put measures into place that protect kids from the heat, even before these rules were mandatory. He states, "Now what we're realizing is that we could have probably done a better job throughout the years, and now that we're educated it's our responsibility to change the way we train our kids."
The new rules also ask each coach to put a heat-related emergency plan into place, and they must also spend time talking with young athletes and their parents about the importance of staying hydrated during summertime practices.
In order to further protect students, many coaches have begun to hold their practices during the morning or evening hours, thus avoiding the hottest part of the day. Workouts have also becoming more balanced, with time spent indoors in the weight room too, instead of simply spending hours on the field in the hot weather.
Regardless of the age of the players on the team, coaches are taking a more proactive approach to helping their young athletes stay healthy as they improve their skills on the field.
"Dehydration and heat-related illnesses are serious concerns, so it is important that coaches understand how to protect their athletes. An emphasis on hydration and an awareness about extreme temperatures is necessary to keep these young athletes healthy and safe," explains Alanna Waters.
Alanna Waters is the head girls' varsity lacrosse coach at Metro Lacrosse. This unique program helps urban youth to develop both athletic and interpersonal skills. Waters serves as both a mentor and a coach for her players, and explains that she enjoys helping her players grow both as people and as athletes. Waters is a successful player in her own right, and led her team to a number of substantial victories in high school and in college.