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New heat advisory guidelines for sports for schools in New Hanover County

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WILMINGTON, NC (RELEASE FROM NH COUNTY SCHOOLS) -- The New Hanover County Schools (NHCS) Athletics Department announces guidelines regarding summer athletics safety. These guidelines are effective beginning July 1, 2014 and run through the fourteen scheduled practice days AFTER the first official day of Fall sports; or when school practice hours begin --whichever occurs first.

Safe practice times can vary slightly when SIGNIFICANT climate changes are noted (rain, major cloud coverage, relative humidity at least 10% lower than average at start time, temperature at least 10 degrees cooler than average at start time). The heat index spikes drastically around 9:30 a.m. and drops around 6:00 p.m. during the summer. Temperatures have exceeded full equipment safe zones by 7:30 a.m. on some days so coaches are advised to be aware.

The safety guidelines are as follows:

Pads, helmets and all other protective equipment must be removed any time the heat index reaches 96º.

All practices must be moved indoors anytime the heat index reaches 105 º.

ALL forms of outdoor practice should be finished by 10:30 a.m. and not resume until 6:00 p.m.

ALL equipment/padding/coverings including: helmets, shoulder pads, lower extremity pads, upper extremity pads, face coverings are to be removed by 10:00 a.m. and not allowed back on until 6:30 p.m.

Any outdoor games that are being held during this period in New Hanover County should end by 11:00 a.m. and not begin until 6:00 p.m. This includes all pre-game warm-ups.

Water breaks should be provided every 15 to 30 minutes, long enough for each athlete to drink 8-10 oz. and cool down (longer intervals between breaks = longer break time)

When a player looks/is dehydrated, sick, tired, overheated, nauseous/vomiting etc., REMOVE player from field IMMEDIATELY and notify proper medical staff. NO EXCEPTIONS.

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