UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 8:54am
BRYAN -- The number one weather-related killer is heat, taking hundreds of lives each year.
And this summer is no exception. Already two teenage football players from Georgia and a Texas football coach have died on the practice fields while gearing up for the season.
So the American Academy of Pediatrics released new guidelines to help prevent heat illnesses and injuries in young athletes.
Senior Viking offensive lineman, Keith Lewis, knows the risks involved every time he steps out onto the field.
"It's very important because we don't want to lose any players due to the heat, so we're just trying to take care of each other." said Lewis.
Just a week after two students in Georgia died, new guidelines for young athletes have been released and head football coach, Bob Bellard, says those guidelines are something his staff takes very seriously.
"There was an old school thought a long time ago that the more that you pound them and everything else the tougher you make them and right now the thing that you want to do is go practice smart." said Bellard.
Practicing smart, is exactly what these Bryan Vikings are doing and right now, they've been practicing without all of their gear.
"If we would have started out in full pads it would have been kind of a shock to us but starting off with shorts and tees it gets better because we're working out getting used to the heat." said Lewis.
Practices are also shorter and start in the morning to avoid the afternoon heat. One parent said he's pleased to see the staff taking the new rules seriously.
"Things are in place to where you're going to try and still get done what they want to get done at the same time, from a football standpoint get it done, but at the same time taking the safety of the athletes and making that a priority." said Vernon Banks.
The AAP says so long as an athlete is well hydrated, they can tolerate and adapt to exercise in the heat.
To see all of the recommended AAP guidelines click here.