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Better guidelines needed to protect student-athletes

Wednesday, March 3, 2021 - 1:46pm
By:
Alan Flurry

Every year, sports coaches have to navigate how to safely get their teams in shape to compete while temperatures during outdoor practices soar. New research from the University of Georgia aims to help them do just that

Different states have different heat policies guiding outdoor practices. In areas less prone to extreme temperatures—Alaska, for example—strong heat guidelines aren’t as urgently needed as in hotter regions

But for states that regularly see high heat and high humidity, a similar lack of rules could prove disastrous. And as temperatures rise across the globe, states that previously haven’t experienced dramatic heat waves will need to adapt their policies as well.

“Heat is one of the leading weather killers,” said Andrew Grundstein, a professor and climate scientist in UGA’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and lead author of the study, published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. “It’s one of the top three causes of death in sports, and we have a lot of states that are not prepared for heat right now.”

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