Searing heat is baking the Valley, and this week, the Phoenix metro area is in the midst of the first Excessive Heat Warning of 2017.
The alert issued by the National Weather Service through Wednesday is not stopping outdoor practices for a lot of summer leagues.
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Despite temperatures above 105 Monday afternoon, more than 100 Valley junior varsity football players and a couple dozen coaches were at Saguaro High School for a passing league.
During this time, they run plays and get pretty physical on the field for several hours. This puts them at a higher risk of getting sick from the heat.
"It can go from bad to worse in a split second," said Ed Hisey, football coach and co-owner of Rush Sports Performance in north Phoenix.
Monday morning, kids and teens took advantage of the air conditioning at the indoor training facility while playing football, lifting weights and running sprints.
"All sports, not just football. They'll do soccer today. They'll do speed and agility training, we even have yoga in the afternoon, so it's a way for the kids to get from outside inside and still have fun," said Hisey.
Without proper precautions, these activities in our desert heat can lead to dehydration, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and even death.
"It's just brutal. Going through the pain. Losing a lot of water. You can't really think straight. Your body is just really exhausted after a while," said Dez Melton, a varsity running back at Deer Valley High School.
According to a report from the Arizona Department of Health Services, roughly 2,000 people annually visit Arizona hospitals for heat-related illnesses and more than 1,500 people have died from excessive heat exposure over the past 15 years.
Hisey says all of his players working out in triple-digit temperatures are constantly reminded of what they need to do to avoid a trip to the emergency room.
"They need to drink water two to three hours before they get to practice. If they get to practice and they start chugging a gallon of water, it's too late. They're going to get dehydrated," said Hisey.
"It was actually the other day, I was doing drills, and I just got cramped up because I didn't drink. I just thought, 'Oh, I'll be fine.' It hurt really bad," said Alex McKeon, a varsity linebacker at Deer Valley High School.
Hisey says coaches will give players breaks in the shade about every 15 minutes and have them drink 8 ounces of water.
Coaches will also keep a close eye out for symptoms of heat illnesses.
"Cramping is always an indicator that they're starting to dehydrate. When it's 105 or 110 degrees and they're not sweating, that's a sure sign. If your kid complains of a headache, that's something to watch," said Hisey.
On average, Metro Phoenix sees about 109 days at 100 degrees or higher in a given year.
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