Turns out, it’s still hot. The mercury isn’t rising as high, but it still feels like punishment being outside in the humidity. The Red Cross sent out these reminders about staying safe toward the end of summer:
Amid one of the hottest summers on record in many states, practice for fall sports has already begun. It is important to remember that extreme heat is especially dangerous for athletes. To help ensure the well-being of athletes, the American Red Cross has tips to keep players safe during hot weather activity including hydration and acclimatization.
“Keeping athletes safe during extreme temperatures is as important as getting them ready for the upcoming season,” said Dr. David Markenson, chair of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council. “One of the most important thing athletes can do is stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids like water or sports drinks with electrolytes before, during and after practice – even if you are not thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol,” Markenson added.
During the hot weather, team practices should be scheduled for early in the day and later in the evening to avoid exposing players to the hottest times of the day. Other steps teams, schools and parents should take to protect their athletes include:
- Allow athletes to get acclimated to the heat by reducing the intensity of practice until they are more accustomed to it.
- Make frequent, longer breaks a regular part of practice. About every 20 minutes stop for fluids and try to keep the athletes in the shade if possible.
- Reduce the amount of heavy equipment—like football pads—athletes wear in extremely hot, humid weather.
- Dress athletes, when appropriate, in net-type jerseys or light-weight, light-colored, cotton T-shirts and shorts.
- Know the signs of heat-related emergencies and monitor athletes closely.
“Knowing the signs of heat-related emergencies and how to help someone who is suffering from the heat is vital,” Markenson stressed. “Coaches and parents need to be vigilant in watching for signs of heat-related emergencies. Athletes should inform their coaches, teachers or parents if they are not feeling well.”
Heat illness is when the body temperature rises because of exertion. If a person’s body temperature hits 103 degrees, that means the person is suffering from heat exhaustion. If a person’s body temperature hits 104 degrees or higher, that means the person is suffering from heat stroke.
Heat exhaustion is caused by a combination of exercise induced heat and fluid and electrolyte loss from sweating. Signs of heat exhaustion include cool, moist, pale or flushed skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea; dizziness; weakness; and exhaustion. To help someone with these symptoms:
- Move the person to a cooler place. Remove or loosen tight clothing. Spray him or her with water or apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Fan the person. If the person is conscious, give small amounts of cool water cool water or a sports drink with electrolytes to drink. Make sure the person drinks slowly. Watch for changes in his or her condition.
- If the person refuses water, vomits or begins to lose consciousness, call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number. Heat stroke (also known as sunstroke) is a life-threatening condition in which a person’s temperature control system stops working and the body is unable to cool itself.
- Signs of heat stroke include those of heat exhaustion and hot, red skin which may be dry or moist; change or loss of consciousness; seizures; vomiting; and high body temperature.
- Heat stroke is life-threatening. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
- Move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the person’s body by immersing them up to their neck in cold water if possible. If unable to immerse them, continue rapid cooling by applying bags of ice or cold packs wrapped in a cloth to the wrists, ankles, groin, neck and armpits, spraying with water and/or fanning.
Exertional heat stroke is the leading cause of preventable death in high school athletics, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations. Deaths from heat stroke are preventable and precautions need to be taken around summer heat hazards.
First Aid, Health and Safety for Coaches, an online course jointly developed with the National Federation of State High School Associations, will be available soon. Until then, you can learn how to prevent and respond to heat-related and other emergencies by taking a First Aid/CPR/AED course. Visit redcross.org/training to register.
Whether your young athlete gets a kick out of karate or soccer, protecting your active family from sports-related injuries and ailments is no game. When it comes to prevention, a good defense is always the best offense. Here are some guidelines:
- Prevent heat-related emergencies by keeping athletes well hydrated before practice and competition. Encourage them to take frequent water breaks and to wear net-type or lightweight, light-colored clothing.
- Greatly reduce the risk of injury by ensuring that each workout begins with at least 10 minutes of warm-up and ends with at least 10 minutes of cool-down activities.
- Discourage an injured athlete from returning to play simply because pain is minimal — absence of pain may not mean the injury is not serious. For injuries causing pain, swelling or redness, do not instruct the athlete to “walk it off.” Movement may aggravate the injury.
- Help prevent “staph” bacteria, including the potentially fatal MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), by reminding your athlete to:
– Never share towels or personal sports gear such as helmets, mitts or shin guards.
– Put a towel down on benches or exercise machines before using them.
-Wash sports clothing after each use.
To learn how to prevent injuries and how to respond to emergencies, attend a Sports Safety Training or First Aid/CPR/ AED program offered by the Red Cross by visiting redcross.org/take-a-class.
A clever reader shared this detailed info with me this morning in an email about the Nichols Hills Elementary gym project. (It’s one of those times as a reporter that you wish you would have had it yesterday! Doh!) I’ll be honest. I’ve never heard of the phrase “geotechnical report,” so I have definitely learned something new today!
I just looked at the geotechnical report for Nichols Hills Elementary and it shows the Gym to be on the west side. The geotechnical investigation and report are completed prior to the structural plans. The geotechnical investigation was authorized on 3/14/2008! The report was issued on 5/27/2008. If you follow this link: http://www.okc.gov/agendapub/agdocs.aspx?doctype=agenda&itemid=63818, you can look at some of the plans and the geotechnical report (especially the “Plan of Borings” page) in Addendum 1. I don’t know what the people on Glenwood were told, but as far as the architect and the City is concerned (Building Permit was issued on 11/28/2011), that Gym was always going to be on the west side, right up against their backyard fence.
-PERSONAL LOOK AT DISTRICT LAYOFFS: More than 60 central office employees in the Dallas school district were shown the door at the start of this week, and more cuts – including teachers - could be on the way later today as officials try to remedy an $84 million budget shortfall. Here’s a view on the situation from Donald Claxton, who briefly headed the communications department at Oklahoma City Public Schools under former Superintendent John Porter after working in the Dallas district.
-BOYCOTT MOVES TO THE BALL FIELD: An Illinois state senator from Chicago took his stab at school funding reform to last night’s playoff game between the Cubs and the Dodgers last night. Sen. James Meeks also led a student boycott of lower performing schools at the start of the year.
-CONFUSING STUDENT ASSESSMENTS: This Washington Post story talks about a literacy program’s assessments that start on a seemingly arbitrary scale of 2 to 16 and then switch to the letters J through P. I’m not questioning the scale or the program there, but the article did make me think about whether parents can always understand how their students are evaluated.
Michael Phelps did his job, collecting eight gold medals in the Beijing Olympics that ended yesterday. But back in Maryland, his mom’s job is just beginning. The Flypaper blog by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute reports that Debbie Phelps is the principal of Windsor Mill Middle School there.
Flypaper also mentions the 2008 Education Olympics, where the U.S won a single medal, compared to a 35-medal showing by the top contender: Finland. You can check out http://edolympics.net for a recap, whether you’re tired of Phelps reruns or whether they’re not playing often enough to satisfy your Olympic spirit.
Wendy Kleinman, Education Reporter
Two weeks ago, I talked to families in Oklahoma for a national basketball tournament who defended their decision to take part in homeschooling. They were on the defense because of a California court’s ruling that parents without teacher certification cannot constitutionally teach their children at home.
But homeschooling families also went on the offense after the ruling was handed down, and the appellate court has agreed to rehear the case.
The court this time also asked for opinions from the union and state board of education for California, and the union and school district for the city of Los Angeles. Other interested parties were invited to file so-called “friend of the court” briefs.
Judges are scheduled to hear the case again in June.
What do you think the ruling should say this time around? Share your thoughts here at http://blog.newsok.com/educationstation.
Wendy K. Kleinman
The Oklahoman published a package of stories and video clips today about homeschooling — why parents choose it, how they feel about recent judicial and legislative moves, what they do to ensure a quality education for their children, how they join together for athletic competitions, and what recent research shows, among other issues.
We’ve shared information with you. Now, we want you to share your thoughts with us. Post your comments here to get a discussion going about these homeschool topics.
This just in — Highly-educated University of Texas at Austin researchers have discovered that “College Students Drink More on Game Days!”
Their study found that students drank more on football game days than on Halloween or New Year’s Eve, other holidays with a reputation for inebriation.
Male students drank more for all games. Female students tended to chug-a-lug most during away games.
Said one study author: “Most events associated with heavy drinking occur only one a year, such as Spring Break, or once in a lifetime, such as a 21st birthday, but the weekly football schedule presents students with more regular opportunities to drink.”
The study is published in November’s issue of Addictive Behaviors.
Susan Simpson, Education Writer
There are two subjects sure to stir debate in Oklahoma: Football and Religion.
I’ll decline to discuss the former — that’s been done enough this week. My last post here was about a call-to-action by a New Jersey Christian activist to bring Bibles to school this week to coincide with See You at the Pole day.
Bob Pawson urged children to take their Bibles to class and quote passages they felt were relevent to their class subject. (Not sure how that would work in Algebra….)
I asked news.ok readers what they thought of Pawson’s campaign, and whether they’d support non-Christian groups doing the same thing. What if Muslims brought the Quran to school?
Here are some responses emailed to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Claude of Yukon said the real question is “Are we a nation under God as our national flag salute states or is it under Allah or Buddha.” Claude goes on to say, “We should study the Bible that expresses our belief in God and is commonly accepted by our religious traditions of all faiths — not the Bible of some foreign religion.”
Does Claude know that the Bible originated outside the United States?
Cheryl of Warr Acres said Pawson’s campaign could lead to chaos in the classroom. “Some with fervent views on their beliefs might resort to physical violence,” she wrote.
Robert, a high school teacher in Oklahoma City, said students have the right of religious expression, as long as it doesn’t disrupt regular classroom activities. He said the Bible is a great source of literature and helps put other works in perspective.
“For example, I am teaching the early English epic Beowolf. The monster Grendle is said to be the off-sprig of Cain, the first murderer in the Bible. Most of my students don’t know who Cain was or the story from Genesis.”
I even had an e-mail from Pawson himself, who saw my earlier posting. He said the campaign is intended to generate dialogue, not disruption. He said Muslim students should bring their Qurans and prayer rugs because everyone has equal rights under the constitution.
What do you think? I’m open to further discussion on the matter. Football? That’s another matter.
Susan Simpson, Education Writer
Branding irons typically are used to mark livestock or steaks. One will be used to mark an asterisk on the baseball that earned Barry Bonds his record-breaking 756th home run.
More than 10 million votes were cast in an eight-day period over what to do with the ball.
Overall, more than 80 percent of voters felt the ball should go to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y. – but 47 percent of the voters wanted it branded first as a reminder of the allegations that Bonds used steroids.
Another 34 percent of voters thought the ball should be bestowed without being branded, and the other 19 percent wanted it blasted into outer space.
The poll was sponsored by a man with a brand of his own – Marc Ecko, a fashion designer who paid $752,467 for the ball.
To see news clips of Marc Ecko and get to YouTube and MySpace forums about the vote, go to http://www.vote756/marcecko.
Wendy K. Kleinman
I saw Barry Bonds hit his 758th home run in San Francisco last month. I don’t know where that ball is now.
I do know where his record-breaking 756th home run ball is — in your hands.
Fashion designer Marc Ecko paid more than $750,000 for the ball that broke baseball legend Hank Aaron’s home run record, and he wants the public to decide what to do with it.
Until Sept. 25, you can cast your vote. Should the ball be bestowed to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.; branded with an asterisk as a reminder of the steroid dispute surrounding the record and then given to the Hall of Fame; or blasted into outer space and banished forever?
Wendy K. Kleinman