Rollie Merrick | Arkansas news, politics, opinion, restaurants, music, movies and art

Rollie Merrick 
Member since Aug 10, 2011

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Re: “High school player collapses, dies during practice

In their quest for glory, football players in the Sun Belt face oppressive heat while preparing daily for the opportunity to play on Friday nights. While athletes practice, some are unaware, ignore or even hide the signs of heat distress; consequently, it is up the coaches and trainers to accurately identify players moving towards grave danger. This is a difficult and daunting responsibility evidenced by tragedies in the last couple months including two football players dying in Georgia, one in North Carolina, a Waxahachie lineman just suffered heatstroke during practice and a football coach in Dallas passed away in part due to heat stress – and now the Gurdon community is suffering the loss of Montel Williams. You know those schools and coaches followed every heat related guideline - so why do athletes continue to be negatively affected by heat?

Heat, humidity and exertion can quickly advance your football players towards heat stress; moreover, the early warning signs of heat stroke can be subtle. Coaching staffs are trained to spot heat related symptoms, and they provide ample water, hydration schedules and rest during practices. However, these “subjective measures” may not protect all students from heat related illnesses including heat stroke and death.

Even with hydration breaks and resting, heat illness “tipping points” prove different for each player; consequently, it is critical to monitor a player’s temperature trending. A coach or trainer doesn’t have the time to take individual player temperature readings much less proactively monitor every player’s temperature trends; that is, until Hothead Technologies developed its RFID based “Heat Observation Technology.”

Popular Science magazine awarded Hothead Technologies “The Best of What is New Award” in the field of medicine for installing biosensors in football helmets to monitor player temperatures to help teams prevent heat related incidents. As a player’s temperature climbs into a dangerous temperature zone; the helmet biosensor sends multiple alarms to the coach or athletic trainer to intermediate on behalf of the student before the onset of a heat related illness. This is high tech stuff, it’s cool and it works!

As this recent summer has shown, heat is so insidious because it sneaks up on our athletes and grabs them with potentially disastrous consequences. The time has come to help protect our football players by augmenting or replacing subjective screening methods with biosensors. Hothead biosensors work and they help coaching staffs make decisions on empirical data rather than the subjective guidelines generally accepted today. Hothead makes playing in the blistering heat one less thing to worry about for coaches, football players, their parents and school districts.

Rollie Merrick
Hothead Technologies

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Rollie Merrick on 08/10/2011 at 3:13 PM


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