2012-08-22 / Campus

Cooling system donated by BPT

Pictured left to right, Deon Foster, PTA, Coach Trey Woolf and Walter Daniels PTA. Pictured left to right, Deon Foster, PTA, Coach Trey Woolf and Walter Daniels PTA. Deon Foster and Walter Daniels, of Colquitt and Blakely Physical Therapy, presented the Early County Athletic Department with a misting fan system to assist in decreasing heat related injuries.

“The misting fan will reduce unsafe playing or practice conditions due to heat significantly by providing a cooling system that reduces the surrounding air temperature. Athletes who are suffering from heat illness must be removed to a cooler location in order to reduce core temperatures and limit further injury. Using an ultrafine mist or fog, combined with high velocity air movement drastically reduces ambient air temperatures as much as 30 to 35 degrees per the company’s information,” Foster stated. Blakely Physical Therapy also provided heat stress statistics and information such as “For every 1.5 degrees your body’s core temperature increases, your heart rate increases 30 beats per minute. That’s why it’s so important to cool someone down before we get to that point. Flash evaporation is a great tool that is underutilized.”

“We want to help any way we can; we want to make sure the athletes are able to participate at 100 percent,” Foster stated.

In March, the GHSA’s new policy for heat and humidity was approved. Two Georgia high school football players died last year during summer workouts, but the rule was crafted based largely on data collected dur- ing a three-year study which ended at the beginning of this year. Schools must follow the statewide policy for conducting practices and voluntary conditioning workouts in all sports during times of extremely high heat and/or humidity.

Some aspects of the new policy are:

• No player may practice in full pads until the player has participated in five practices without pads. This is designed to help players get acclimated to the heat.

• There are specific activity and rest break guidelines related to various wet bulb globe temperature readings. For example, a reading of over 92 results in outdoor practices being cancelled.

• The site of the rest time should be a “cooling zone” and not directly in the sunlight.

• Any school being found in violation of any part of the new policy is subject to a $500 to $1,000 fine.

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