Staff will monitor heat index before marching outside
By Tim Fleischer — Editor-in-Chief
On a day in which heat records were broken across central Texas with temperatures peaking at 114 F, three Salado High School marching band members were sent to the hospital with symptoms of heat illness after the first day of outdoor practice on Mon., July 23 on a day that set heat records in central Texas.
According to the marching band schedule emailed to parents, outdoor marching was to be 6-8 p.m. each day this week. From 3-5 p.m., students are to practice in the gym indoors and have a dinner break at 5 p.m.
“Due to the heat several students got overheated,” band director Charla Kelley said in an email to band parents at 10 p.m. July 24. “During the 30 minutes we were out on the marching field we were vigilant in taking water breaks every five minutes and getting them into the shade.”
“Please know my intention is never to put your child in a situation of danger as safety is a top concern.” she stated in the email.
“Staff with administration help are trying to devise a plan of action so that this event never happens again,” Kelley stated.
According to the email, practice will be held outside if the heat index is below 108º F at 7 p.m.
“This decision was made in conjunction with the administration in order to prevent this from occurring again,” Kelley said.
Students march on an asphalt surface. According to a “A Study of Surface Temperatures of six groundcovers” on the Frostburg State University asphalt surfaces were as much as 40 degrees hotter at 120º F than grass while Astroturf® surfaces were as much as 60 degrees hotter than grass surfaces at 140º F.
According to the Occupational Safety Hazard Adminstration (OSHA) “Using the Heat Index: A Guide for Employers,” Heat index of 103 to 115 is considered a High Risk and additional precautions should be taken to protect works. A heat index above 115 is considred Very High to Extreme risk and requires even more aggressive protective measures.
The American Red Cross advises the following to stay safe when temperatures soar.
Austin, TX, July 17, 2018 — It’s that time of year when the temperature goes up and heat and humidity, which can be deadly, make being outdoors very uncomfortable. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 600 people in the United States are killed by extreme heat every year. The American Red Cross has steps you can take to help stay safe when the temperatures soar.
• Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
• Avoid extreme temperature changes.
• Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
• Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
• Postpone outdoor games and activities.
Excessive heat can lead to sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. If someone is experiencing heat cramps in the legs or abdomen, get them to a cooler place, have them rest, lightly stretch the affected muscle, and replenish their fluids with a half a glass (about 4 ounces) of cool water every 15 minutes.
If someone is exhibiting signs of heat exhaustion (cool, moist, pale or flushed skin, heavy sweating, headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, exhaustion), move them to a cooler place, remove or loosen tight clothing and spray the person with water or apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Fan the person. If they are conscious, give small amounts of cool water to drink. Make sure the person drinks slowly. Watch for changes in condition. If the person refuses water, vomits or begins to lose consciousness, call 911.
HEAT STROKE LIFE-THREATENING
Signs include hot, red skin which may be dry or moist; changes in consciousness; vomiting and high body temperature. Call 9-1-1 immediately if someone shows signs of heat stroke. Move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the person’s body by immersing them up to their neck in cold water if possible. Otherwise, douse or spray the person with cold water, or cover the person with cold, wet towels or bags of ice.