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Heat Forces Marching Band Students to Practice Indoors

Arlington High School band students will practice inside as the heat index climbs over 100 degrees.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Heat advisories continue across Shelby County and much of the Mid-South through Wednesday. Each afternoon the heat index is expected to climb to 105 degrees or higher.

The hot weather is already making it a struggle for teachers and students at the Arlington High School marching band camp. Monday, the heat forced band students to practice inside in small groups.

The Arlington High School marching band is made up of 230 students. More than a dozen parents were on campus to monitor students and watch for signs of heat exhaustion. A couple of students felt the effects of the heat and were taken inside to cool off.

Band instructor Phillip Hughes says safety is top priority and decisions have been made to have practice inside during the peak heating hours of the day.

“What we look at is not only temperature, but also the index for heat,” says Hughes. “If the index starts getting over 100 degrees, we start moving inside.”

Band students are outdoors from 8 a.m. until 11:45 a.m. when they leave for lunch. Students will take 30 minute breaks at a time with Gatorade and water readily accessible to students who feel dehydrated.

“Marching band is really physical. The amount of fluids when that temperature goes up high is drastic,” says Hughes.

Some instruments, like percussion, can weigh up to 15 pounds. Heat exhaustion can set in quickly. Parents are reminded to make sure band students eat a non-dairy breakfast and drink 12 ounces of water before practice begins.

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