GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) — As temperatures rise this week, Greenville County athletic trainers are monitoring the heat to ensure it is safe for for outdoor practices and games.
“Safety is the number one thing for all athletes,” Samantha Nance, a supervising athletic trainer for Prisma Health and Wade Hampton High School, said.
All athletic trainers in Greenville County schools use a Wet Bulb Globe Temperature device to track the heat throughout the day.
“It’ll take into account the wind speed,” Nance explained. “It’ll take into account not only humidity, wind but also solar radiation. We get a reading, and based on that reading, we’ll use our national guidelines to tell us what we can do in practice everyday.”
If the device shows a number higher than 82 on the screen, athletic trainers will begin changing practices, such as requiring more rest and water breaks, limiting how long practices can run and only allowing players to practice while wearing limited equipment. If it gets too hot, practice will be canceled.
Referees decide if it is safe to play games. It is all decided on a case by case basis.
“Some of the games may go on as scheduled,” Nance said. “We’re already looking at potentially postponing the start time just to make sure we’re under heat guidelines.”
Teams have cold tubs filled with ice on the sidelines in case anyone shows signs of a heat-related illness. Nance also reminds her athletes to stay hydrated.
“One of the best ways to beat a heat illness is to prepare – to make sure they’re drinking half their body weight in ounces of water everyday plus more,” she explained. “Make sure they’re eating a well-balanced meal everyday. I’m also asking them to be aware and to listen to their body. It could start as a heat cramp where just their calf is cramping. It could later turn into full body cramps once they stop sweating. That’s when we’re getting into a bigger heat illness.”