As youth football practices kick off, high temperatures bring danger

Jul 27, 2023, 7:30 AM


Two new studies published in July give parents more information about the risks y...

(Shutterstock) Two new studies published in July give parents more information about the risks youths face playing football.


SANDY, Utah — Believe it or not, it’s football season.

While the current heat wave doesn’t bring autumn sports to mind, tryouts and practice have started for youth sports programs, leaving coaches and parents responsible to know what to do in all this heat.

At Mount Jordan Middle School, Alta Youth Football held tryouts that normally last through 8 p.m., but this year, they call it a whole hour earlier because of the heat. That’s because, according to Intermountain Health, extra hot temperatures can lead to heatstroke, and that can be fatal.

Symptoms that include confusion, seizure or loss of consciousness require immediate medical attention.

Paige Janzen, certified athletic trainer at Intermountain Health, said athletes, including young athletes, need to acclimatize to the heat and prepare for practice by hydrating well in advance.

“You can’t drink a whole bottle of water right before practice and expect that to work out. We recommend them to grab a water bottle to drink,” Janzen said.

She said if a person feels hot, sick to their stomach, gets a headache or isn’t sweating as much, they need to stop doing that particular exercise and cool down quickly.

“You need to drink. You need to pour water over your head. You need to get ice or water over the body,” she said.

Coaches look for the chance to give athletes breaks and have been keeping tryouts to 30 minutes in the extra heat.

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As youth football practices kick off, high temperatures bring danger