footballrest-150x150Even before the school bells ring to bring kids back to classes, young athletes have taken to steamy fields and other facilities for fall training — making this an ideal time to remind coaches, trainers, players, and parents to ensure important steps are taken for safety’s sake.

While injury prevention of all kinds must be paramount in school sports — programs that must focus on young folks’ recreation and enjoyment as much as competition — two problems persist and require great diligence as players ramp up their conditioning: heat injury and head trauma.

Susan Yeargin, an associate professor of athletic training at the University of South Carolina and co-author of the National Athletic Trainers Association’s position statement on heat illness, told the Washington Post that it takes all people, but especially younger players, time to adjust to the heat and humidity of late summer and early fall: