OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Triple-digit temperatures have forced metro schools and youth sports organizations to make adjustments to athletic practices.
The worry led to the city of Yukon canceling all youth sports activities until things cool down.
“It just comes down to the safety of the kids and spectator staff, everyone involved,” said Ryan McClure, Yukon’s Parks and Recreation Director. “Safety always has to be our number one priority, especially when we’re thinking of kids. So that that’s just the number one factor that we considered.”
McClure said the decision impacted hundreds of young kids who signed up for baseball, t-ball, and flag football.
“I think most people are understanding when it’s 100 plus degrees that it’s dangerous for people to be out here,” said McClure. “But we’re certainly looking at rescheduling.”
The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association sent out emails to all school superintendents, principals, and coaches this week reminding them of protocol for activities during extreme weather.
Schools and youth sports coaches across the metro have been monitoring the heat index which was expected to hit around 110 degrees Tuesday.
The town of Little Axe moved high school football practice to 6 a.m. so athletes could kick off before temperatures peaked.
Chris Trobaugh has been an athletic trainer for 20 years. He most recently joined Mercy, working closely with Deer Creek Schools.
“We’re looking for signs of heat stress,” said Trobaugh. “If an athlete were to stop sweating, they look like they’re getting sick. They look like they’re slowing down. Sluggish.”
He said staff have been on the sidelines loaded down with buckets and tubs of ice so they can be ready to attack the affects of the sweltering sun.
“It usually takes about 3 minutes to drop one degree of body temperature,” said Trobaugh. “We’re looking at anywhere from 12 to 15 minutes before we get them back down to a safe range.”
There have also been talks of pushing back the start time for some high school football teams on Friday who will be kicking off the season.
Along with the heat, there’s also concern for injuries as sports start up with the school year. Mercy will hold a Saturday Morning Sports Injury Clinic at two of its locations every Saturday during the regular fall season. Athletes can walk in without an appointment on Saturday mornings to get medical attention if needed. Orthopedic specialists will be available to diagnose injuries. You do not have to have an appointment. The two Mercy Clinic locations will be 3301 NW 50th in Oklahoma City and 3735 Legacy in Weatherford from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.