Temperatures Raise Risk of Heat-Related Illness - 8 News NOW

Temperatures Raise Risk of Heat-Related Illness

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LAS VEGAS -- The Las Vegas valley is preparing for some scorching temperatures at the end of the week. The excessive heat watch begins on Friday and will end Monday evening. Temperatures could reach 115 degrees.

The prolonged heat can be dangerous and put people at risk of heat-related illness, such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke, which can be deadly.

The National Athletic Trainers' Association is meeting in Las Vegas this week. They are focusing on the danger young athletes face when they play sports such as football, baseball and soccer. One of those dangers is heat stroke.

High school athletes are used to pushing their bodies to the limit out in the elements, but some times it can be a mistake.

Valley High School baseball coach Pete Atoigue says he always pays attention to his players, especially on hot days.

"They will black out, go through dizzy spells. We've had episodes of throwing up," he said.

Those are symptoms of potential heat-related illnesses that experts say can turn potentially deadly in a very short amount of time.

"The greatest risk of heat stroke is in the first four or five days of practices," said Douglas Casa, National Athletic Trainers Association.

He spoke at the Las Vegas conference about preventing sudden deaths in secondary athletics program. He says heat stroke is one of the top three conditions that make up 80 percent of deaths in high school sports.

"That's the largest constituents of athletes in the country and many of them don't have access to appropriate health care," Casa said.

He recommends that an athletic trainer be on every high school campus to help detect any potential health emergencies including when it comes to the heat.

Pam Sloan, the athletic director for the Clark County School District, says she has trainers in all 38 high schools in the valley and they make sure kids get acclimated to the heat gradually as they start summer practice for the respective sports.

"The last thing we want is for kids to go outside put pads, helmet, shoulders pad, full gear, then have a stroke," she said.

Coach Atoigue says it's about making sure his players stay hydrated and healthy.

"Our first regard to make sure they are safe," Atoigue said.

Coaches say they try to have games early in the morning and late in the afternoon. They have ice baths and plenty of water always available.

 

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