School keeps kids cool during football practice

NEWPORT, AR (KAIT) – Keeping your kids safe while they're at school is a main focus schools.  To keep parents informed a meeting was held Tuesday in Newport in a half hour between coaches and parents.  Next week two-a-day practices start for high school football players.  In addition to jumping into a more intense practice the teens will also be out in the heat.

To keep kids safe some changes are coming for players of all sports.

"Every year it seems a kid goes down and it seems like it is more prevalent now than it ever has been," said Coach Mark Hindsley.

While it has never happened at his school, he said he has seen signs of heat distress.

"You see the dehydration symptoms of dizziness, confusion, tiredness, nausea," said Hindsley.

He said they want to treat everything like a heat stroke.  New regulations from the Arkansas Activities Association have new requirements this year including having an emergency plan.

"When a kid goes down for heat illness just pumping water into them isn't enough.  They're at a point of heat stroke and we've got to cool the body down," said Hindsley.

That's why the school has purchased four large tubs they can fill with icy water for the kids to go into if they get too hot.

"You see that with professional teams, they do that, but I didn't really know they were going to start doing it with the high school and junior high kids," said Parent Ron Boling.

In addition to water immersion coaches also say it is vital to keep kids hydrated before during and after practice.  They also need to get plenty of sleep.  These are just some of the things they will focus on with parents in Tuesday night's meeting.

"What they need to do, what we're going to do and how we're going to work together for the safety of their child," said Hindsley.

If you have a child in the Newport District and can't make it to the meeting, coaches say you can stop by and talk to them.

Copyright 2011 KAIT. All rights reserved.