At the Monthly School Board meeting held on Tuesday, August 8, concerns over the safety of school athletes were raised by member Louis Melton, who suggested the purchase of stress monitors and lifesaving cooling tubs for junior and senior high school athletes as well as physical education classes.
There are times Louisiana heat can be sweltering, and Melton brought up the fact that this can be dangerous for athletes, causing heat strokes and other health issues. This is why he suggested stress monitors and cooling tubs be purchased.
“I think it would be a good precaution for our athletes because it does happen,” he said.
Bastrop High's Coach Bradshaw, along with trainer Riley Rush, discussed these devices and what it would cost to acquire them. Stress monitors could be used to measure the outside temperatures and determine the possible danger to athletes. This would allow for practice to be scheduled accordingly. Rush also mentioned an OSHA heat monitor app that could be used by each student on his or her phone.
Cooling Tubs would allow for players to quickly be cooled down in case of emergency. Having such a piece of equipment nearby would allow for fast treatment as in cases of heat stroke and other heat-related injury time is of the essence. Rush noted that these were relatively simple to make.
“For cooling tubs in this area we usually use feeding troughs filled with water and ice” she said.
These tubs would be kept on the field under a tent for quick and convenient use. The board also discussed purchasing hydration stations to make it easier for athletes to get drinking water on the field. These stations consist of a wagon capable of carrying a tank of water for fast rehydration of athletes.
Bradshaw noted that this equipment would be easy to put in place for Bastrop High and Delta, but a little more complicated for Morehouse Junior High. The Junior High has trees that make it difficult to get players to water quickly in case of heat stroke and he said that needed electricity and water would have to be run underground to the necessary location. The Board voted to purchase the equipment for Bastrop High, Delta, and the Junior High, and further discuss a bid to run water and electricity underground at the Junior High. It is hoped that this equipment will be in use by next year.
“Thank You, You've helped a lot of kids tonight,” said Bradshaw.
The board also voted to get a bid to place gas pumps on the bus yard and to consider several new policies in future meetings.