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Heat and football: Here's what athletes should know to stay safe

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Before cool fall days arrive, the first weeks of football practice and games come in the August heat. High-intensity drills beneath the hot sun can do serious harm to the body, even to those in excellent shape.

This week, the team talks with Dr. Douglas Casa at the University of Connecticut's Korey Stringer Institute about how to manage the heat and recognize heat illness before it’s too late. Casa also discusses the importance of high school teams having athletic trainers and weighs in on which is better: water or sports drinks like Gatorade. 

Korey Stringer was an offensive lineman in the NFL for six seasons who died on Aug. 1, 2001, due to complications brought on by heat stroke during training camp with the Minnesota Vikings.

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About the Across the Sky podcast

The weekly weather podcast is hosted on a rotation by the Lee Weather team:

Matt Holiner of Lee Enterprises' Midwest group in Chicago, Kirsten Lang of the Tulsa World in Oklahoma, Joe Martucci of the Press of Atlantic City, N.J., and Sean Sublette of the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia.

Episode transcript

Note: The following transcript was created by Adobe Premiere and may contain misspellings and other inaccuracies as it was generated automatically:

Hello, everyone. I'm meteorologist Sean Sublette and welcome to Across the Sky, our National Lee Enterprises weather podcast. Lee Enterprises has print and digital news operations in more than 70 locations across the country, including my home base in Richmond, Virginia. I'm joined by my meteorology colleagues from across the sky, Matt Holiner in Chicago, Kirsten Lang in Tulsa, and my buddy at the Jersey Shore, Joe Martucci, with the Press of Atlantic City.

Our guest this week is Dr. Douglas Casa at the University of Connecticut's Korey Stringer Institute, where they research and advocate for athletes at all levels regarding safety and performance. Basically, we're talking about football practice in the heat this week. For those who not familiar, Korey Stringer was an offensive tackle for the Minnesota Vikings. He died from exertional heat stroke during the NFL training camp in August of oh one.

He played in 93 regular season games in his family, worked directly with Dr. Casa to develop the institute in the years that followed. He'll talk more about that in just a little bit. But I want each one of us to briefly talk about what we liked. I kind of liked the end when we had the all important Gatorade versus water question.

What are some of the things that that you really took home from from this discussion? We had. Let's start with you, Joe.

The Gatorade versus water ones. Good. You didn't bring up Powerade, though, Sean. Should have, you know, power ranked the three.

I'm of old school. There is there is lemon lime in orange and that is it. I am that Gen-X dude.

Oh, I love and light. Good and lemon lime is good. So you're going to hear the word wet bulb globe temperature a couple of times here throughout the pod. So it's a measure of heat stress. I'll let him talk more about it. But it's very important. And, you know, if you're an athletic trainer, you probably know what it is if you're not.

It's a newer concept that us meteorologists and those in the weather industry are trying to bring to light.

Yeah. And I think for me, the thing that stands out about this is everyone can relate to this because there's so many people involved with football with especially early on in the season and are used to this. You know, if you're not an athlete, there's so many people, the bands that go to the games, the cheerleaders is the fans, and there are a lot of games I can think of some Texas football games in Austin, Texas.

Usually that first game of the season, if it was a kickoff at 11 a.m. or 230, it's not just the players on the field that are feeling the heat, but the fans in the stands. So this is just so relevant to so many people in August and early September, because especially in the south and southeast, where a lot of these heat related deaths do occur.

With football, I mean, you can still have some really hot days. And this summer is a great example with all of the heat advisories. And heat warnings has been hot summer. And so it's probably could be an extra hot start to the football season as well.

And he talks to just about, you know, just the symptoms that you can expect if you are potentially coming on with heat exhaustion or heat stroke. But then he also goes into treatment and what they do on the field with some of these players, if they are starting to experience some of those symptoms. So be on the lookout for that as well.

Yeah, very good information coming with that. Let's get right to our conversation with Dr. Douglas Costa at the Korey Stringer Institute up at the University of Connecticut. And Dr. Douglas Casa is a professor of kinesiology at the University of Connecticut and the CEO of the Korey Stringer Institute. And this time of year, August, with football practice, is underway ahead of the season.

Heat, of course, is top of mind, causes passion for this line of research began in 1985 when he suffered exertional heat stroke while running a 10-K, thus motivating his career research. The study of exertional heat stroke, heat illnesses, hydration and prevention of sudden death in sports. Dr. Kaza, thank you for joining us on the Across the Sky podcast.

Honored to be here. Thank you for having me.

So let's get right into this. Talk to me about this time of year, the risks to heatstroke, specifically with football players, what happened with Korey and how this kind of worked into this this broader the institute that you develop.

Very as many people know, Korey Stringer passed away in 2000, one from exertional heat stroke, the only NFL player to die during a practice or a conditioning session or a game in the hundred year history of the of the sport. And I assisted his widow during some legal proceedings that took place as an expert witness for the next eight years.

And Commissioner Goodell and his widow, Kelsey Stringer, reached out in 2009, asked, and if we want to host a lasting legacy for Korey, because they knew my expertise and my passion for the topic and we open our doors. In 2010, we had three people and we opened our doors and now we have 80 people who work at KCI.

There's 25 staff and 55 volunteers and we're focused on health and safety issues for the athlete warfighter and labor and, you know, conduct research, do a lot of public health initiatives, advocacy testing of individuals. So I've been able to, you know, serve a pretty wide audience.

All right. So let's let's step back a little bit about what what conditions were like in this environment in terms of football practices and the like 20 years or so ago. Now, a lot of this stuff is kind of intuitive. It's hot. You need to take it slow, you need to hydrate. But what other kinds of things you know, we're missing, you know, 20 years ago and we still need to to improve on.

I mean, there's I think you and I remember a time where we were just told it's hot, drink some water. Keep going. Obviously, that's not the right answer. So talk a little bit about those things.

So we can put it into three buckets, things that prevent the heat stroke from happening in the first place, things you can do to recognize it as quickly as possible, and then things you would do to treat it affects each stroke does present itself. So first, from the realm of prevention, there are kind of five big ticket items.

One is heat acclimatization. That's the phasing in of activity across time in the first week or two. So going a little lighter, doing, you know, single day sessions, having dawn, having successive days of two days phasing and equipment. It's important for your audience to know that almost all heat strokes, more than 80%, happened in the first week of activity.

When people are returning or doing something, whether it be military training, a person at a job working in the heat or an athlete in football training. Second item is measuring the environmental conditions and making modifications to the work to rest ratios on more extreme days, having more breaks that are longer. Third item is cooling strategies, having cold wet towels available during breaks, having shade available during breaks or whatever else you can do to cool someone to limit the rise of their body temperature.

Fourth is hydration having fluid available, not having to have official breaks to access fluid, accessing fluid anytime you need a fifth. This kind of individual factors when people are on certain medications. Supplements have had previous problems in the heat, recent illnesses or injuries where they've been away from sport, they put them at greater risk. So those are the buckets that kind of fall into the realm of prevention of heat stroke.

Dr. Kaiser, I want to go back, if that's okay, and talk some about environmental factors, aside from what many would think, you know, just simple heat index, I spoke with some trainers here in the Tulsa area and and they said that the wet bulb temperature was really something that they went off of. When it goes to or when it comes to those environmental factors.

Can you talk a little bit about that and what you might have saw it?

Yeah, it's a great question. So we do something called the WBC, which is a wet bulb globe temperature, which factors in like a bunch of different key environmental considerations. One is obviously the ambient temperature, the relative humidity, the radiant heat load, which is key because heat index is really limiting and should never be used in sports because heat index by it's when it was originally developed, was done in the shade for people at rest.

And that's just not relevant for an athlete who's exercising in the sun and doing intense exercise. So what about globe temperature? 75% of the thermal load is the humidity, about 20% is the radiant heat load. 10% is the ambient conditions. It also factors and wind speed to some of those calculations so that we always we set up the work to rest ratio guidelines best based on the web of temperature measures that we get.

And it's also really important that you're measuring those on site and never, ever relying on weather station data that could be 20 miles away because the artificial turf or the black track with the pavement of a tennis court, all those surfaces are very, very, very different than what you would get from a local weather station.

Hey, Dr. Costa, I'm going to follow up on this because I really like using the Whipple globe temperature. But and this is more of like from a societal perspective, the one issue I have with it and I reason why I don't know how far this is going to take off using this on a public basis is simply because a lot of these temperatures are lower than the heat index or even the air temperature, depending on what it is.

I mean, you have I believe you would know better than I, but I believe when you're above 90, that's really significant. But someone might see 90 or 91 at the end. It's not that bad. So yeah, I see. I see you laughing a little bit over there. So how do you kind of blend those two together and, you know, go forward with this?

Yeah, that's a great, great point. If I started things all over again, I would have done a plus 40 correction factor for web temperature that just magically makes it higher because you're totally right, 92 web of globe temperature. You have to cancel all training in the military like you'd be court martial that you continue activity and that's by a 92 a person Louisiana years and this is the most mild day of the whole summer I'm right so but yeah so people in the medical field the athletic trainers who are working at the high schools, they understand those measures and they're just there.

They've proven to have great value for reducing heat illness load. And right now at the high school level, almost every high school in America now has a web temperature meter, which is really good in terms of progress. But I do get your what you're saying related to the numbers, not translating to the general society in terms of being as meaningful.

Yeah. And Doug, I think it's also just confusing for people because when we issue heat advisories and the excessive heat warnings, which have become quite common, particularly this summer, those are based on the feels like come to the heat index, which is just looking at temperature and humidity. So that's what people are most used to. I mean, at first it was just getting people educated about what the fuels like temperature really means and remembering that you have to include humidity.

And so then you add in other factors and people get real confused and it goes beyond even what the National Weather Service is warning for. So for people that are not used to dealing with wet bulb temperatures, it's good that people are, you know, especially those at high schools and at the training level, are educated on on what that means.

But for the general public, is there a particular feels like temperature or air temperature that should really start to raise kind of those alarm bells, like, okay, this is a type of this is a temperature where I do need to actually take extra precautions when it comes to just looking at the feels like temperature, is there a threshold that people should really focus on for when it could be can actually become dangerous for athletes?

Yeah, that's a it's a good question. It's tough because I don't really think there's a great metric really for the public necessarily because heat index is completely useless. I mean, I can't tell you how useless it is. It doesn't take into account sun or the radiant heat load. So if you're in Phenix in the middle of the day, and you know what that feels like, you feel like you're going to little cook or melt that sun factor is not factored into heat index unless you're doing that very arbitrary.

Plus 15 Are that like, you know, oh, sure somebody puts on their website that you should add on a full sun to the heat index measure. But that's completely arbitrary. So it's not really an objective measure. So it's a tough call in terms of, you know, having these metrics because you didn't, like I said, is a shade measure at rest.

And that's just not super useful for us. So we want something that really humidity and the radiant a fact of the sun directly are really the key factors that we want to have people consider.

Yeah, I think that's one of the things that really needs to be ratcheted up in terms of environmental and weather communications. I think we remember a time where we always would talk about, well, what is it in a shade and what is it in the sun? And we've kind of lost that in a lot of aspects in weather and environmental communications that the sun matters and it matters a lot in that summer.

The sun is higher up in the sky. Your skin itself is going to be heated by the sun way more than it is in a December or January day. Could you speak a little bit about that more in terms of it? When we look at what bulb globe temperature and we talk about the incoming solar or radiant, does that kind of fluctuate with seasonal ality in terms of sun angle?

Yeah. With cloud cover at a little, could you dive a little bit more into that?

Yeah. So the radiant heat load is not just the direct radiant heat load. It's also got remember how much we get from the reflection. You know, you're on a black surface or the turf surface, so a full sun versus a full cloud day could mean artificial turf being 150 degrees versus 115 degrees going to be very, very different in terms of what you're handling.

And most people don't realize, I mean, you have four ways you can kill yourself infection, conduction, radiation and evaporation. Three of those are completely dictate on how it relates to your skin temperature. So your skin temperature rises around 93 degrees. If it's higher than 93 ambient outside, you're absorbing heat from the environment via radiation conduction and convection. And the only way to cool yourself is with evaporation.

And that's what the sweat droplet evaporating. But if you're in humid conditions like in the southeast, where almost all of the heatstroke deaths take place in athletics, you have no ability to cool yourself because of the sweat drop. It doesn't evaporate then you don't actually cool yourself at all. You're only losing fluid. And so the radiant heat load is really, really critical because one, you can absorb heat, but you're also getting the reflection from the surface that you're playing on.

And that's why full sun versus full cloud is has so much influence on on the measures that we have and what influence it has for risk of heat on us.

Another thing about acclimatization, as you mentioned, most of these deaths in heat stroke, heat exhaustion, all of this tends to be in the southeast. How much in terms of acclimatization do we see with regard to people in relatively cooler climates, let's say in in coastal Oregon or Washington or northern New England, where it doesn't get as hot in general, but they do get a locally hotter day.

Just talk about how the body reacts if you live in a different climate, if you live in a northern climate versus a southern climate, how much does does the body kind of acclimate over over time as this climate, illogically?

I mean, it takes about 7 to 10 days to get about 90% of the physiological changes associated with heat acclimatization. And that can happen in Massachusetts or Oregon or Louisiana. I mean, you just need a football player practicing in August and it's 86 degrees in Massachusetts. Instead of like 102 on Louisiana, they're still going to get heat acclimatized.

I mean, they're still going to make those changes, those physiological changes. You get to heat acclimatized if your body temperature is over 102 for about an hour of activity and if that happens for five, six, seven days out of a ten day stretch. So you need to have that trigger. And for a football player to practice, especially any linemen, they're going to be over one or two for a couple of hours of the practice session.

So heat acclimatization can happen regardless of the climate you're in. It's happen a little bit faster if you're in a hot weather climate because obviously you're going to get a little more hypothermia because of the environmental conditions. But that's going to happen everywhere. And that's why we need we work for heat acclimatization guidelines in all 50 states. We work for WEP up temperature guidelines in all 50 states, because those are two separate things that people need to consider.

The phasing in of activity across the first week is different than making modifications based on the environmental conditions.

We're sure. All right. So when we come back on Across the Sky podcast, we're going to have more with Douglas Casa, specifically about football this time of year. So stay with us. And we're back with Dr. Douglas Costa from the University of Connecticut's Korey Stringer Institute, talking about heat, sports and especially football this time of year. The regular season kicking off very shortly, just another 2 to 3 weeks or so specifically August heat football practice this time of year.

We talked earlier in the podcast today about kind of working your way into it, starting off slow in the first few days of practice and then kind of building up as time goes on to get kind of acclimatized to the conditions. Talk a little bit about how, you know, and some of this is intuitive, but, you know, extra padding, how much how much extra heat the body is generating when it is exerting itself versus taking it more slowly.

One of the first checks we tell people is to get fit first before they worry about heat acclimatization. So if you can do conditioning, you know, through the weeks in July when you're in no gear and you're not specifically doing football practices, you can help your conditioning with them in the actual formal football practices start, We've made a lot of modifications to policy over the last 20 years.

The NCAA has done at the NFL most state high school athletic associations have adopted it and that is the first five or six days. There's no two a day practices. You phase in the equipment. So the first three or four days you might only have a helmet on. Then after those periods of times you maybe add some shells and then you can go to full gear, maybe after a week and then after the first week you don't have to have two days on successive days.

So there's all these modifications to intensity and duration and the general stress to the body over that first 7 to 10 days to really protect people. Because like I said, the first week, they're at the greatest risk. So what can we do to decrease risk in that first week? Again, you know, slowly enhancing increasing the stress is one thing you can do.

About how much more body heat, if you can quantify this, is generally when you're exercising, you know, at a level where you're doing wind sprints, when you're doing drills, obviously, I mean, again, some of this is intuitive, but is there a way to quantify how much more heat the body is generating?

It's a good question. So, I mean, that the biggest factor that dictates the rate of rise of your body temperature is the intensity of the activity. So, yes, if you can not do really intense conditioning sessions, having more breaks, that's going to decrease the intensity, especially in that first week. And the second biggest factor that drives your rate of rise of body temperature is the environmental conditions.

So obviously on more extreme days, taking more breaks, trying to have practices during times of the day when it's not as extreme. I'm having availability of shade during break periods and those are just like kind of tools we have available to us to decrease that risk.

Doug If someone wants, you know, they want information from you about how to reduce their heat risk, it's a let's say it's a I don't know, let's say it's professional team or we can even say it's a college team, you know, how do they go about reaching out to you? And, you know, what are your communications like with that?

So, yeah, I mean, I've worked with all 32 NFL teams, hundreds of college teams, some of the top pro teams around the world. I mean, people reach out to us directly, a Class I, we consult with some of them. We give advice, you know, more, you know, quick advice, like in an hour of phone call with some others.

So it all depends on the circumstances. We have a lot of people who have had problems in the heat in the past and they come to us for testing so we can figure out their sweat rate and their sweat electrolyte concentrations and give them strategies. We've had people who've had heat strokes and who are unfortunately not treated properly and who did not recover properly.

And they need help, you know, maybe getting back to their sport or their job. So, yeah, we have a lot of interactions with, you know, organizations governing bodies. But also the athletes themselves.

And it seems like a lot of people are reaching out to you and trying to become better informed about this. But my wonder is how many are really taking this seriously? I think a lot of you might be listening to podcasts like, Huh, I wonder if the school that my kids are going to are following these procedures. So how do you know if your school or your team is following these procedures?

And how do we know that, you know, people are really adopting this because it seems like there could be something like, oh, I can I can take advantage. We'll start the two days a week earlier than all those other guys and feel like they get a competitive advantage that way. So I can also see this as a way it's like, oh, this is our this is the way we're going to get ahead.

But that seems like that'll be, of course, a dangerous decision to make. So how could someone, you know, really find out if their school is really following these procedures and is sticking to this plan?

Yeah, Matt, that's I'm so really happy you brought that up. So the biggest thing I would tell any parent America of a high school athlete is make sure their high school has an athletic trainer. That's the licensed medical professional that takes care of medical conditions. About two thirds of high schools in America right now have athletic trainers. But if their kid is playing a sport right now at a high school level, especially the higher risk sports like football, soccer, basketball, running and really any sport, they should be concerned if they don't have an athletic trainer because they don't have an athletic trainer, then the coach is going to decide if their kid lives or dies

when there's a cardiac event, when there's a heat stroke, a cycling crisis, a head injury. And we don't want that coach deciding if your kid is going to live or die. So that's the most important thing I would tell any parent in America is make sure their high school has an athletic trainer there. During all the practices and games.

And that would be a great start because that athletic trainer is going to make sure they have the way they're meeting the state regulations for heat acclimatization. Or what about globe temperature guidelines for work to rest ratio issues for, you know, pre participation physicals that that a trainer is the steward, you know, to make sure all those things are taking place.

You don't want to rely on the athletic director or other coaches for medical care.

And Dr. Corso, this might be very kind of elementary, just taking it back to basics. But if we have any students that are listening to this podcast right now, can you just give them some bullet points on things to be aware of that could be leading to heat exhaustion or heat stroke? Just a couple of things that they may start to notice.

No, that's good. Yeah. About 50% of the cases of heatstroke have prodromal signs and symptoms, meaning they'll exhibit issues before the collapse. It's important for two things. One, you kind of notice things early, but two, sometimes you never notice things early. And the first indication is the problem is they're collapsed in front of you and we have to act quickly.

But some common signs and symptoms, the biggest ones is for heatstroke. Two, to make it different than heat exhaustion. You know, one dies from heat exhaustion, people die from heatstroke. And the biggest difference between those two is central nervous system dysfunction, meaning, and heat stroke. They might have confusion, combativeness, agitation, a lot of just not paying attention. I'm saying irrational things.

That's that's something that separates it from heat exhaustion. But then some of the common things would be like headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, lightheadedness. But those can exhibit themselves in both heat stroke and heat exhaustion. And so a central nervous system stop that separates that. And also extreme body temperature at the time of collapse is a big difference. Heat strokes are 105 or one of six or greater at the time of collapse, where heat exhaustion will be in the 102 to 104 range.

But obviously that athletic trainer would be doing that. The accurate core body temperature measure too, to know that they're dealing with a heat stroke.

About how long between the time that somebody starts to exhibit these symptoms of potential heat stroke before there is there is a you know, they collapse. So I'm assuming it runs the gamut that, you know, as soon as you recognize the symptoms, you need to act immediately. But have these symptoms been known to go on 20, 40, 60 Minutes before somebody collapses?

I'm always trying to think in my head these are the signs. This is how long I have. These are the actions that need to be taken.

Right? Yeah, it's a good question. I mean, when I say collapsed, it doesn't necessarily reach the point of collapse for everybody. It might be someone they walk back to the wrong huddle or they're screaming at the coach and they would never normally do that. Or they might be punching a teammate or they might be, I'm just going to sit near the bleachers and they're incoherent, you know, And they're still conscious, though.

So anything that's off like that, if someone had been doing intense exercise in the heat and you've ruled out that it's a cardiac event, we always tell people to assume it's heat stroke until proven otherwise. You have from the moment it presents itself, we have 30 minutes to get their temperature under 100 for if we want to assure survivability without long term complications to damage to their organs.

So if someone's starting a one hour wait or 129, which is typical, starts for a heat stroke and you want to get them under one of four. That's why almost every high school in America has cold water immersion tubs. Over 80% of high schools have them. All college football programs have them all. 32 NFL teams have them because cold water immersion has the best cooling rates.

So if we can get someone in a tub after they show signs of heat stroke, you can get them under 104 within 15 to 20 minutes. And that's the window. And there's a concept called cool first transport Second, even if there's an ambulance there, you don't put them in the ambulance. You finish cooling in the tub because that has the best cooling rates and then you send them to the hospital.

And Doug, I wonder if you have any numbers on the number of heat strokes that are associated with sports and then also the number of fatalities. Are there any specific numbers that are associated with it?

Yeah. So the National Catastrophic Center for Sports Injury Research Center did UNC-Chapel Hill that we partner with them on the Exertional Division here at KCI. And we generally see for the high school level like four or five deaths a year on average if you took it over like a ten year stretch. But obviously there's many hundreds of heat stroke that happen every single year at the high school level.

Most of them are in either cross-country running or football, with football being the leading sport. And the big thing is, like I mentioned before, someone can have a heat stroke and have permanent damage, like they can have damage to the liver, their kidneys, their brain, their heart. So they might survive the heat stroke so it doesn't get recorded as a death, but their life is never the same after.

And that happens to most people who are not treated properly, have long term or permanent complications.

Doug, we're going to wrap it on up and we really appreciate all the time, but I got one last question for you here on that question. So you got your master's degree from University of Florida and then you got your Ph.D. in exercise physiology from UConn. So who's going have more football wins this season, UConn or Florida? The trickier question if people might think it's so.

It's a good question. My university of Florida, I'm going to guess, is going to have more obviously a little more of a football tradition. But UConn had a decent season last year, hoping to, you know, build back to where we were some years ago. But yeah, so UConn is my my basketball school and university of my my football school because.

Area.

That makes.

Perfect sense up there for the fall in the winter. You're good until March.

Yeah. My wife and I are alums of both schools so we we got to have an assortment of of teams to cheer for.

That makes perfect sense. For sure. For sure. Oh, one more question for for we sum up Gatorade versus water. Man. I still hear this all the time. Does it really matter or is just water just fine, though?

In most circumstances, water is fine. But if you're doing more than an hour of activity and it's intense exercise in the heat, I would always encourage you to have sodium in the beverage because it helps with retention of fluid and it encourages the thirst mechanisms to someone will voluntarily drink a little more to minimize their dehydration. So if it's intense exercise in the heat, it's going to be a few hours practice.

It's a soldier labor or an athlete. I do encourage some people to have some sodium in the beverage and to get some calories in the beverage.

Excellent. But I get that all the time. So it's great hearing it right from you. Anything else you wanted to to bring forward before we wrap up?

No, I think it's been great. I really appreciate this opportunity to get to another audience.

Thank you so much. Where can people online find out more about the work you're doing there at KFC?

Yeah, it's simple. KFC, dot, UConn, dot, edu. They're UConn's Yuko and wonderful.

Dr. Casa, thank you so much for joining us. Hope everybody stays safe. And remember, it's not just a little bit hot. It can be dangerous this time of year.

All right. Thank you.

No, guys, it's for me, it's really amazing to see how things have changed regarding heat and football and practices. You know, since the time I was in high school back in the eighties, showing my age and how things are handled now, especially as unfortunately, we do see the weather tending to turn a little bit hotter. August has always been hot for sure, but man, we're not seeing that the two days as much.

We're not seeing full pads as much anymore because, yeah, it's you don't want to think about especially kids going out there and truly suffering or worse, dying from something that's very easily preventable. So very glad to have had Douglas on for today.

Yeah, totally. You know, we did get to talk a lot about that wet bowl globe temperature, you know, and just how important it is for so many in sports and even in the military. I like how he brought that up, too. You know, at a certain time, military stops exercises as well, depending on the sunlight, you know, how strong the sun is, the dew point, temperatures, etc..

So, yeah, he's definitely done this before. You could tell he's he's very well versed in this and what they let people know. So it was a nice tape podcast. I hope you guys enjoyed it. You know, we try to keep this one short for you, but there's a lot of info in there. But it was a for podcast for us as well.

But one thing that stands out to me is how he mentioned the importance of athletic trainers. And I do think they're a very overlooked person on these football teams because they have such an important role trying to look out for the athletes because the coaches are all about winning and the coach knows that he's going to lose his job if he doesn't win games.

So he's all about, how can I make these guys better, How can we win games and might in the process of doing that, overlook the safety of the athletes? I mean, we certainly hope not, but we see how quickly a coach can be fired if they have one losing season. Even so, there's a lot of pressure on the coaches just to win.

And so you need somebody there is a wait a minute. It's not all about when you need to make sure these guys are safe because this could impact the rest of their life. So I think the importance and one thing that's got a little bit scary is that there are a lot of high schools that still don't have athletic trainers.

You only talk about two thirds of high schools, even having athletic trainers. I think there should be a real push to make sure that every school, even the small ones, have somebody who's really looking out for the safety of the athletes.

Yeah, And he was able to, I guess, you know, for those who don't have those trainers, you know, to give a little insight on what, you know, you may be experiencing, if you are coming on with some symptoms you may be experiencing, if you are coming on with the heat stroke or heat exhaustion. So good to hear from somebody, you know, right from the source, I would say, because he sure is in the thick of it and he sure does know his stuff.

Yeah. And I also like this idea that I become a little bit frustrated with with the heat index and the feels like temperature. And Joanne, with you, if I could just turn the switch and go back in time, I would love to introduce to what Bob Globe. But as you alluded to here in earlier, it's you know, you hear 90 it doesn't sound that bad, but, you know, a 90 wet bulb globe temperature, that's black flag conditions for the military, they're not going to have operations.

And the other thing I did not know is that your skin temperature is 93, so that if you're outside and just a regular old temperature is 93, you're going to be taking on heat unless you were sweating like just crazy and losing heat that way. All right. With that, we'll wrap then for for this week in the coming few weeks, we've got some more really good topics.

We're going to talk about the infamous bouncy houses and the weather. We're going to talk more about football and fantasy football. We're also going to talk a little bit more about the deep oceans and and the warming waters of the devotions as the climate warms, as we're getting into the into the course of hurricane season. But for all of my meteorology colleagues from across the sky, Kirsten Lange and Tulsa, Matt Holiner in Chicago and Joe Martucci at the New Jersey Shore, I’m meteorologist Sean Sublette at the Richmond Times Dispatch.

We'll talk with you next week.

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Across the Sky

The Lee Weather Team hosts a fast-paced weekly podcast that tackles hot topics (and cold!) plus what 
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