Keeping players safe in the heat

Posted at 6:10 PM, Aug 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-10 18:10:27-04

With no shade in sight, football practices can get heated.

"You have to have the mindset of I'm here to get better and you just can't let it bother you," said Danny Rhodes, offensive and defensive lineman for Okemos High School.

He told us he prepares all day for practice in the heat.

"You drink gallons and gallons of water, drink more water outside of practice than in practice and so you stay hydrated," Rhodes said.

Plus, he knows head coach Jack Wallace and the trainer are looking out for the team.

"We may take off the helmets, we may give 'em instead of a five minute break, give 'em a 15 minute break," Coach Wallace said. "Less conditioning maybe and more walk through. Anything we can do to still be productive and yet be aware of what's going on with this heat."

Coach Wallace told us practice couldn't start until 5 p.m. today because the heat index of the practice field was closer to 116 degrees earlier this afternoon, much higher than the Michigan High School Athletic Association's threshold of 104 degrees.

"These are kids and we're concerned about 'em obviously," Coach Wallace said.

Because heat exhaustion and dehydration can pose serious health risks.

"They get dizzy, you see some kids profusely sweating or breathing heavy, all those signs that we're looking for in kids and then that's when we know we need to get them off the field and or back off with the whole team," Coach Wallace explained.

Keeping everyone healthy and safe ahead of another big season.

"I'm looking forward to it. I'm excited as can be!" Coach Wallace added.

Doctors suggest drinking double the amount of water you think you should on a day like today.

For warnings of heat stroke and heat exhaustion, click here.