In Florida and many other States, football is a tradition and the talk of the big cities and small towns in the Fall. Especially at the beginning of the Fall football season, the weather in Florida can be quite hot and typically feels like the scorching weather of the Summer well into September and other months. Because of this, it is important for coaches, league administrators, and parents to do their part to keep children safe and well hydrated. Yes, conditioning is an important part of football but close attention should be paid to the age, size, and physical abilities of the players especially the younger ones. Youth football is loaded with players that will play at the high school or college level. It is important that all players (talented ones and the not so talented ones) are kept safe so that serious personal injuries are avoided. Of course, from time to time, heat related incidents and health complications can occur even with all reasonable precautions taken for rest, shade, and hydration. Many such incidents can be avoided with the health and safety concerns are put front and center over the competitive desire to win and condition the children into stellar, tough athletes and young men in the future.
In Ocoee, Florida, four children experienced heat related symptoms at a Pop Warner Football game. From the article posed in the Orlando Sentintel, it was reported that Firefighters responded to the scene and a few people (adults / children) were hospitalized. For more details of this incident, see Hospitalizations – Ocoee, Florida – Pop Warner Football.