Football to firefighting, heat is brutal

Hydration key to beating heat

SAN ANTONIO – Under the blazing sun, the Kennedy High School Rockets tackled a familiar opponent Friday: the heat.

"We're in South Texas. Ninety to 100 degrees is normal for us," said Coach Michael Inco.

It's normal, but potentially dangerous, too. Between 1995 and 2000, there were 17 sports-related heat stroke deaths, according to the UIL.

"It's real important to understand those signs of the kids feeling fatigue and dizziness and headache and to make sure they get plenty of fluids in them," Inca said.

Water is always available, and they take frequent water breaks, he said.

"Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate every day, not just on the field," said Lt. Machele Cevallos, paramedic with the San Antonio Fire Department.

On the scene of a house fire Friday, she toted bottles of water, Gatorade and cold towels to firefighters.

When the temperature and humidity rise in the summer, SAFD sends more manpower to structure fires so the crews can rotate in and out. They are not only battling flames, but dehydration.

"We encourage our firefighters to sip on a drink all day long," she said. "Water is best. Gatorade and things like that also work well."

Whether you're fighting fires or playing sports, she said it's vital to condition and hydrate before you head out into the heat.


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