Our View: ‘It’s hot’ is more than a childish complaint

Published 9:12 am Friday, July 12, 2019

It’s time to get serious about the heat.

According to the Copernicus Climate Change Service, this past June was the hottest June ever recorded in the history of the earth. With the rising temperatures comes rising concern over the health of young people participating in outdoor activities this summer.

“There’s a fine line between pushing hard enough to where the athletes can play a whole game and not pushing them too far,” Springwood School head football coach John Gartman said. “We’ve probably done more conditioning this year than we have done in other years because it has been a hot summer. We play earlier than most teams, and it’s going to be hot when we play Success Unlimited.”

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Gartman said that it’s important for student athletes to be in good shape, especially at smaller schools like Springwood, where several players stay on the field the majority of the game. However, safety always comes first.

“It’s going to be important that they can go the whole time, but it’s also important to be smart about it,” Gartman said. “We have plenty of water, ice towels and we’ll keep a close eye on the kids and make sure that they’re OK. There’s a fine line, you just have to keep an eye on those things.”

In his years of coaching, Gartman said he can definitely feel a difference in the heat this summer in particular.

“Yes, I think you have to watch it a little bit more,” he said. “I think you do need to be able to give them a little bit more of a break nowadays. It has been a hot summer. I remember thinking back in May, it was hitting in the 90s, even back then in spring training. You have to push them, but you also have to be smart and careful. That’s what it boils down to.”

From the generation of millennials up, there seems to have been a rise in parents and older generations comparing how much more often they left the house to play outside compared to today’s kids. In general, today’s children are criticized for their technology addictions and hours of staring at screens instead of being active.

While it is fine for parents to encourage children to live a healthy lifestyle, it is equally important for parents to understand the severity of today’s temperatures in a historical context. The issue of heat exhaustion is very serious and should be treated as such.

If you have to be outside, drink plenty of fluids and try to avoid the hottest parts of the day.

It’s Alabama, so we all know the heat is going to stick around for months longer. It’s best to take precaution now to avoid a serious injury.