Archive for Thursday, September 7, 2000

Beating the heat safely

Editorial

September 7, 2000

Thankfully, temperatures have cooled down this week. The National Weather Service had made a habit of issuing heat advisories for most of the last two weeks.

Officials recommend people stay indoors whenever possible, which had little bearing on postal carriers, construction workers and roofers who make their living by being outside in the heat.

We're glad to see the school district used the same kind of judgment with regard to the heat-related safety to staff and students. The cancellation of school in some instances and a number of sporting events were the right moves by the school district.

The school district has an obligation to its patrons to make certain safety is a priority. In the past, not much attention was paid to issues like heat, but the mishaps of recent years force us all to take a closer, more cautious look.

Each year, football practice begins in mid-August, traditionally the hottest time of the year in Kansas. Last year, the dangers of such heat when combined with the exertion of football became all too real when a high school football player in Wichita collapsed and died on the field.

Since then, school districts take the cautious approach. Just three days before their season opener, DeSoto High football coach Brad Scott was issued an edict from the administration: Practice would be short and without full pads.

At a time when the first-year coach should have been installing his game plan and getting plenty of work accomplished, the Wildcats spent less than an hour on the field working on special teams before taking it indoors for a chalk talk.

Meanwhile, a soccer game in DeSoto was postponed, while Eudora's season-opening cross country meet was rescheduled for later this month. Granted, no one ever seriously considered football not being played last week, but medical personnel was on hand and water and other fluids were required.

Every precaution was taken to beat the heat.

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