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Coaches Keep An Eye Out For Heat-Related Illness

Putting on several pounds of football pads and other safety gear before practice is normal for high school football players. But, running with all that gear in mid-August when the temperature soars can cause some of the players to become dehydrated or suffer from heat exhaustion or even heatstroke. KSMU’s Kristian Kriner met up with Kickapoo High School’s football coach Kuper Kreul on the sidelines of the field to talk about the precautions he takes to avoid heat-related illnesses.

Kickapoo's football coach Kuper Kreul says, right now, his team practices in the mornings and the early evenings. He says when school starts, the team will start practicing in the afternoon.

Kreul says he worries about dehydration of his players when the afternoon practices begin.

Kickapoo's trainer, Bert Boyd, says two signs of dehydration are sweating profusely and body cramps.

He says if it is a really hot day, dehydration can happen quickly.

Coach Kreul says players will never be denied water, even if the team is in the middle of a drill. He says there are several other coaches and managers that make the rounds, continually giving the players water.

Boyd says if a player is dehydrated, the coaching staff gets them out of sun and takes them inside to the air conditioning.

He says depending on the severity, they will put cold towels all over the player's body or even dunk them in a tank of 50-degree water.

Kreul says this year they haven't had to cancel practice due to heat, but two years ago he had to cancel several times.

He says his team is looking good, so far, but they are still working hard for their first game against Camdenton.

Again, that was Kickapoo’s football coach Kuper Kreul and St. John’s trainer Bert Boyd speaking to me earlier.

For KSMU News, I’m Kristian Kriner.