WEST CARROLTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Fall sports are in full swing in the Miami Valley, and with heat indices expected to be in the triple digits at times during the week, experts say staying safe is the top priority.

The heat wave is on. Temperatures near 100 later in the week, and for outdoor student athletes, the heat and humidity can take a toll.

Schools rely on their athletic trainers to keep an eye out on players who may show signs of heat stress, but they also make decisions on practice based on measurements of the wet bulb temperature, which takes into account the temperature, humidity, wind speed, sun angle and cloud cover, a more complex measurement than the heat index.

Katie LaRue-Martin, team lead athletic trainer at Kettering Health, said, “Depending on what category we fall into, making adjustments on how many water breaks you have to have for practice, how long they have to be, how long practice can be, all of those kinds of things, and how much equipment you can wear.”

Springfield High School is not taking any chances when it comes to the heat this week.

Mike Dellapina, athletic director at Springfield High School, said, “In a week like this week, you know, we will increase our water breaks and take breaks about 10 to 15 minutes apart really frequently. Our football coaches, you know, have been known to just go out and have the kids practice in no pads.”

Avoiding heat related stress and cramping requires hydrating, not just during exercise.

Amy Bernard, manager of athletic training services at Premier Health, said “Again, getting rest, getting adequate fluids at home before and after practice. If they can take a water bottle to school with them during the day, and that’s permissible by the school, that is highly, highly recommended.”

Dellapina said that he has been in contact with other Athletic Directors in the Greater Western Ohio Conference about what they are doing to beat the heat, and potentially pushing start times back for games.