Extra Precautions Taken to Protect Athletes in the Heat

Precautions are being taken and extra measures are in place to keep student athletes and others safe in the heat.

In Dallas, students are not allowed to practice outside from noon to 6 p.m., according to Dallas independent School District spokeswoman Robyn Harris. It’s referred to as the 'No Fly Zone.’

It’s why football players at David W. Carter High School took to the practice field early this morning, and moved their workout inside later.

“What we do all throughout practice, they get water any time they want and we have water breaks every 20 minutes,” said head coach Patrick Williams. “And what I encourage them to do is the night before drink plenty of water.”

In Frisco, the Centennial High School Titans football team started practice Monday evening. All the tools to keep the athletes safe were used, including watering stations with chilled water, cold towels, ice baths and breaks.

Still, some players were overcome and showed signs of heat illness including light-headedness, weakness and cramping. Anyone who appeared to be struggling was immediately treated with cooling devices.

“We just want to make sure we keep them safe, we don’t want to lose anybody to the heat,” said head coach Ronny Mullin. “You gotta get them prepared.”

The team was on the field for only 20 minutes, when the temperature high 96 degrees at 5 p.m. Monday.

The players were overcome running conditioning shuttle sprints, 50 yards at a time for a total of 300 yards.

“There wasn’t much wind at the time either, so it felt, you know, 100 degrees. It was warm,” said Craig Martin, whose son is a kicker on the team.

“Trainers were on top of it. I was really impressed,” Martin added. “The head coach was checking in on the guys on the side and working with the guys who were out running. He was really concerned about the guys that were struggling.”

No one was seriously hurt, but several of the affected players did not return to practice.

“We’ll keep an eye on kids and those that have trouble the first day, we’ll watch them. We’ll probably limit the things that they’ll do the next day,” said Mullins.

The coaching staff plans to move the conditioning drill to the end of Tuesday’s afternoon practice, when temperatures should be lower.

It’s not just school athletics sending athletes out into the heat.

The JCC Maccabi games are currently underway in Dallas. Hundreds of teenaged athletes from across the U.S. and four other countries are taking part in both indoor and outdoor competitions. An entire medical staff is working with the athletes to ensure they’re safe in the North Texas heat, including encouraging them to stay hydrated.

"The most important thing, especially in heat like this, you can see the sun is bright, it’s beating down on us, it’s in the mid 90s, and we are expecting temperatures to hit 100. The most important thing is to stay hydrated,” said Dr. Shelley Weiss, medical director for the Maccabi Games and a pediatrician at Medical City. "It’s number one, number two and number three.”

NBC 5's Kevin Cokely contributed to this report.

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