Scientists Plead For Caution At Football Practices After A String Of “Preventable” Heat-Related Deaths

high school football

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

After the deaths of three high school football players and one coach in recent days, the Union of Concerned Scientists issued a warning about the dangers of practicing in excessive heat.”All of these heat exertion deaths are preventable,” said Dr. Michael Bergeron, a professor at South Dakota, on Thursday

Higher temperatures and larger players have caused the death rate to increase from one per year in the 80s to 2.8 per year in the last 15 years, according to Andrew Grundstein, an associate professor at the Universty of Georgia.

Grundstein says of the players that have died in recent decades:

  • 95% were overweight
  • 60% died after heat exposure in the morning hours
  • 85% per cent were lineman
  • 66% died in the first two weeks of the preseason

Practice for most high school teams kicks off this week.

The experts urged coaches to take a lot of breaks, practice without full pads, and understand the early symptoms of heat-related illness.

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