Jan 29, 2015
Monitoring Football Players’ Body Temps

It isn’t news that athletes working out in hot weather may be at risk for heatstroke. What is news, however, is what one Colorado doctor did this summer to keep a high school football team safe.

During voluntary football workouts at Cherry Creek (Colo.) High School, Michael Davidson, MD, attached gauges to players’ foreheads to constantly monitor their body temperature. “[Heatstroke casualties] are needless, preventable deaths,” Davidson told the Rocky Mountain News.

The experiment may have saved at least one athlete from harm. A player was pulled aside one day when his gauge revealed a body temperature of 108 degrees.

Along with monitoring the athletes for heat illness, Davidson also collected data during the three-week monitoring period. He found that if a player’s temperature rises early in a workout, that player is out of shape, while if it spikes late, that player is dehydrated. And a player whose temperature peaks after remaining steady for several days is suffering from long-term dehydration.

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