WBGT Monitors Pushed in NJ

August 5, 2017

In the coming months, high school athletic trainers in New Jersey may be using a Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) monitor to help avoid exertional heat stroke and heat exhaustion. As reported by myCentralJersey.com, Senator Patrick J. Diegnan Jr. recently learned about these devices and said he would introduce legislation requiring school districts to adopt WBGT monitors next year.

The WBGT monitors take ambient temperature, wind and solar radiation, and relative humidity to measure the environmental conditions for exercise. With that information, athletic programs can decide if modifications, such as rescheduling, shortening or canceling practices, increasing hydration breaks, or removing equipment from practice times, are required.

“The (device) is a wise investment and it should be utilized,” Dr. Jack Kripsak, director of sports medicine at Somerset Medical Center, member of NJSIAA’s medical advisory board, and team physician for Bridgewater-Raritan High School (Bridgewater, N.J.), said. “It’s a life-saving piece of equipment investment-wise for school districts.

Each WBGT monitor costs about $400. Currently used at the professional and collegiate levels, these monitors are believed to provide a better estimate of hazardous environmental conditions for exercise than the heat index.

“Heat stroke in student-athletes is completely preventable and while New Jersey is at the forefront of athletic training for our high school athletes, we must continue to refine our best practices to ensure we avoid future tragedies while allowing our children the simple joy of competition in sports,” Diegnan said. “We’re talking less than $200,000 for the entire state. To me, it is the definition of a no-brainer. Is it worth $200,000 to save kids’ lives? Absolutely.”

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