High school spring football practice starts on hot week

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - Multiple days of 90 degrees or above are expected this week in the Lowcountry -- the same time the start of spring football practice begins at area high schools."It's a good way to kick start the season because now football is a 365-day deal in high school," said Dave Spurlock, Coordinator of CCSD Athletics. "Schools try to take advantage of the opportunity to get their kids out to get them in some condition."That conditioning is also to prepare them for the summer heat. Spurlock said during spring practice, coaches will gradually build up their athlete's stamina, by wearing at practice -- just helmets, then helmets and pads, and finally the full gear for full contact."They are trying to get the kids acclimated to the heat. During the summer, when it is going to be 95 degrees and humidity, there needs to be a tolerance for the body to build to work out that hard," he said.Aside from the heat, experts say there's something else parents should be aware of - concussions.Medical Director Joseph Calandra of Trident Sports Medicine says concussions are a common and often undetected part of football season."The student athletes, the 14, 15, 16-year-olds, don't know what is going on. It is something in the past was expected, 'Oh I got my bell rung in practice, I got a little daze,' so many still go undetected," Dr. Calandra said.Experts advise symptoms to look out for if you think your child has had an undetected concussion at football practice are that they may be confused, more irritable, fuzzy, and are sensitive to light. Doctors also encourage athletes to drink plenty of water, more than sports drinks, to beat the heat.