Excessive heat in the Mid-South prompts cancellation of sports practices

Protecting children during a heat wave

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The heat index reached 115 degrees Monday, according to our WMC Action News 5 weather team. That’s why the City of Memphis opened a cooling center Monday morning at the Lewis Senior Center on North Parkway.

But of course, for kids in school it's hard to avoid that heat.

Doctor Dale Criner, director of the Emergency Department at St. Francis Hospital, says parents need to teach their kids to hydrate during these hot days.

Sports for students are kicking back up but football fields will be empty Monday. The TSSAA policy for all sports and schools states that all practices will stop outdoor activity when the heat index reaches above 104 degrees.

Criner says it’s important athletes speak out if they’re not feeling well in the heat.

“It’s important this time of year as our athletes are getting back heading to the gridiron that we make sure both that they know that they have rights as athletes to feel empowered to let their coaches and trainers know hey you know what I don’t feel really good right now I need to sit down for a few minutes," said Criner. "They can be in charge of their health as well as everybody else and they need to be comfortable speaking up and speaking their mind.”

Criner says both kids and adults need to stay away from energy drinks that can dehydrate you during hot days.

According to our meteorologists, Tuesday should be just as hot as today.

The cooling center on North Parkway will stay open until further notice.

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