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Trainer discusses hydration, heat illness prevention with parents, students

Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 10:43 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 5, 2021 at 11:23 PM CDT
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PARAGOULD, Ark. (KAIT) - A Thursday night meeting at Paragould High School highlighted the dangers of dehydration and heat illnesses.

Arkansas Methodist Medical Center Athletic Trainer Heath Lamb urged parents to monitor their children’s health and keep them hydrated before and after practice, adding athletes should be drinking half their weight but in ounces (Example: A person who weighs 250 pounds should drink 125 ounces of water each day).

“The more information that the parents have, the better they can help us prevent the bad stuff,” Lamb said.

He emphasized knowing the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, saying those having a heat stroke need to have their body temperature lowered to 102 degrees Fahrenheit while they wait for medical assistance.

Lamb said Piggott football player Hunter Midkiff’s death was a reality check that hit too close to home.

“We’ve come close in Paragould,” he said, “I have yet to have a death while I’ve been here, but we’ve had some kids taken to the ER.”

While temperatures have been mild over the past five days, they will soon begin to creep back up.

Flora Webb has two children enrolled in football and band, and she is concerned about giving them the right amount of water.

“I knew they needed to be hydrated, but not as much as I did until this afternoon,” Webb said.

She says keeping student-athletes hydrated is a team effort that involves the coaching staff, teachers, and parents, adding she has her child well stocked on water and electrolyte drinks.

“She (Webb’s daughter) will have to notify me if she’s dizzy or anything,” she said.

To know and understand more signs of heat-related illnesses, click here.

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