Athletes should be aware of dangers of playing sports on synthet - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Athletes should be aware of dangers of playing sports on synthetic turf in the heat

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Athletes should be aware of dangers of playing sports on synthetic turf in the heat  (WFSB) Athletes should be aware of dangers of playing sports on synthetic turf in the heat (WFSB)
HAMDEN, CT (WFSB) -

Another summer scorcher, and for athletes who must play in it, especially on synthetic turf, the pain is even worse than those on grass.

While it was sticky and warm on Monday, captain’s practice for several sports at Hamden High School must go on.

Senior Shawn Odei said the synthetic turf has burned him in the past, and that was during the fall season.

“A couple time our toes get red on the bottom,” Odei said.

That was during the barefoot practice runs. Now, at his coach’s direction, he wears socks for barefoot runs.

Many studies have shown that synthetic turf fields are especially hot, prompting some to warn athletes and parents to be extra cautious or avoid the surfaces, if possible.

“They have been measured over and over again, anywhere between 155 and 165 degrees,” said Nancy Alderman, of the Environment and Human Health Inc.

That’s hotter than what studies have shown top temperatures are for grass or asphalt.

The Hamden athletes say they are very careful about how they practice on the crumb rubber field, because of how hot it does get they never practice during the middle of the day, and they also make sure to bring plenty of water.

Doctors are not suggesting anyone avoid the surfaces, but to be smart while on them.

Hartford Hospital Emergency Medicine Chief Ken Robinson said athletes playing or practicing on synthetic turn need more rest in the shade and more frequent water breaks than those using grass.

Dr. David Wang, with Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, is a sports medicine doctor who said it is up to coaches and supervisors to be aware of how hot it can get on the fields, and to plan accordingly.

During captain’s practices, there are no coaches allowed, but players and parents said they keep close tabs on their team.

“I think that the high school teams are told when to come out there and I think they take good care of them,” said parent Carl Sargolini.

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