Area football teams taking precautions against extreme heat

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – One of the biggest issues area football teams are facing is the heat.

Many teams are taking precautions to keep players safe in the heat.

In North Carolina, preventative steps are taken to ensure players and coaches stay healthy in the heat.

“We don’t wait until today to start our conditioning, start getting acclimated to the heat,” explained Coach Nate Conner, DH Conley football. “We’ve been going since May doing that.”

Conner said keeping his players safe is his number one priority, “We get numerous water breaks, as many as we need. If they see anything that, like…”

“Sends off red flags,” continued Jeremey Joyner, senior, football player. “They let us take a break and relax and all of that stuff.”

These types of breaks go along with the mandatory guidelines of the “heat acclimatization policy,” which keep players safe in the heat.

Last year, six youths suddenly died while playing.

The policy aims to prevent that, in addition to including mandatory water breaks, cool down periods, and a schedule of what can be worn and when.

“The whole state has bought in that this is what we’re gonna stand by, this is what all of our state high schools are going to follow. This is a safety policy,” said Dr. Katie Flanagan, director, Athletic Training Education, ECU.

North Carolina is just one of 16 states in the country to have the policy.

Experts said it’s important to know heat illness symptoms, which include staggering or confusion.

If a player shows these symptoms, experts said to get them in cold water to cool off their internal temperature.

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