Some coaches pushed back against the Georgia High School Athletic Association's new heat policy, but overall the policy was a success, said Jeff Hopp, president of the Georgia Athletic Trainers' Association and Marietta High's athletic trainer.
"From seeing the preliminary results from this past year after the policy went into place, the number of heat problems was drastically reduced," Hopp said.
There is some more good news: The overall rate of heat illnesses across all high school sports is on the decline, researchers reported. In football, however, heat related deaths have risen in recent years. The spike in deaths has coincided with the ten warmest consecutive 12-month periods in recorded history for the United States, which have all have occurred since 2000.
The summer of 2011 was particularly tragic, when six high school football players died due to high temperatures and lack of rehydration, triple the average. August 2011 was the second-warmest August on record in the US.
Records for overnight lows have also been on the rise, and many players are suffering heat illnesses during morning practices, which aren't as cool as they once were, according to Grundstein's study.
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This article originally appeared at The Daily Climate, the climate change news source published by Environmental Health Sciences, a nonprofit media company.