Northwest NEWS

August 20, 2001

Editorial

Young athletes need to be careful of summer heat

While I am not a local resident, I strongly feel that my letter concerns parents everywhere.
   I'm coming to you as a grandmother. My grandson belongs to Little League. I have seen him practice and play in unbearably hot weather. Coaches are reluctant to cancel these practices and games when weather temperatures rise to dangerous levels.
   I urge anyone who loves children and feels they deserve this protection, to write to Little League and demand that games and practices have a cutoff point ... that when the temperature and heat index rise to a level that is considered dangerous, there is an automatic cancellation and rescheduling.
   Children need the protection of adults. They also need their good judgment and good sense to prevail. There is no need for a child to hit a baseball or kick a football in organized sports when people are dropping from heat exhaustion.
   I urge mothers, grandmothers and all parents who are interested and believe that children are being put in jeopardy under these conditions, to respond.
   Do we have to lose a child on the baseball field from heat exhaustion before we act? What are we teaching children if we do not that one must win at any cost. That one must play at any cost. That life is not as valuable as a home run? Or are we teaching them by our silence that we do not care enough I do.
   Harriet May Savitz, via e-mail