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Weather

The following is the minimum requirements for WHSA activities where lightning may be possible or thunder is heard.

Coaches, trainers, referees, tournament and club officials have the overall responsibility for the safety of their players during practices and games. Before practice or game day check the forecasted weather conditions and the chance of thunderstorms. Parents or players should also remind coaches of approaching weather if it is apparent that the coaches/trainers are so immersed in practices or the game that they are unaware of the possible danger.

If you hear thunder your site is in danger of a lightning strike, regardless of how far or close you may think the thunder is from your location. Play/practice should be suspended and everyone evacuated to safe shelter until 30 minutes after the last thunder is heard. The trainer, coach or referee should time from the last occurrence of thunder being heard to determine when it is safe to return to the activity.

Recommendations for Safety

Safe shelter includes sturdy buildings or inside a vehicle with windows closed.

AVOID: Isolated trees, light poles or other tall objects, bodies of water, sheds, fences, bleachers, convertibles, tractors, bikes and motorcycles. Avoid leaning against buildings or vehicles [inside or outside].

If lightning threatens and a person cannot reach suitable shelter, he or she should assume a lightning-safe position: crouch on the ground with weight on the balls of the feet, keeping feet together and the head lowered and ears covered. Assume this position if you feel your hair stand on end, your skin tingle, or you hear crackling noises. Preferably in a depression or the lowest area of the surrounding ground. Never lie flat on the ground.

Do not stay in a group. Stay several yards away from other people. Don't share a bleacher bench or huddle with other players.

First Aid for Lightning Strikes

· Call 911 or have someone call 911. Get medical attention as quickly as possible.

· If the victim has stopped breathing, begin rescue breathing. If the heart has stopped beating, a trained person should give CPR. If the person has a pulse and is breathing, address any other injuries.

· Check for burns in two places. The injured person has received an electric shock and may be burned, both where struck and where the electricity left their body. Being struck by lightning can also cause nervous system damage, broken bones, and loss of hearing or eyesight. People struck by lightning carry no electrical charge and cannot shock other people.

For more information visit the National Weather Service web site at http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/outdoors.htm

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