Hudson Valley Parent

HVP August 2017

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Page 25 of 39

26 Hudson Valley Parent n August 2017 issues at this time are the possibility of an overheated surface and that skin abrasions may be more susceptible to infection. A grass surface can reach 104 degrees when the air temperature is 94 degrees. Turf can reach 165 degrees according to a study by the University of Arkansas. That far surpasses the heat on pavement, under the same conditions, of 136 degrees. However, Director of Athletics for Arlington, Michael Cring, says all school districts in New York follow an outdoor sport heat index for participation and this has nothing to do with the type of field. Athletic directors and trainers monitor this and make decisions about outdoor activity accordingly. Positive parents Walter Gaceta is the CYO director for sports programs in Ulster County and a parent to three youth athletes, Brandon, Britney and Brynn. The youth soccer clinics he oversees, for kids three to 10 years-old, are played on natural grass fields in Kingston. His family lives in the Monroe- Woodbury school district which also only offers grass fields. The town is one of the few to not have turf, according to Gaceta. "The benefit of an artificial turf field goes beyond the convenience of not rescheduling," he says. "It keeps kids participating... it's less dangerous with fewer injuries on a better surface. It's a worthwhile investment." Gaceta says it's his impression that most parents are aware of the questions about health issues, however, he doesn't think that factors much into decision-making when it comes to getting involved with sports. Patti Zakow, Arlington High School mom, says by the time her son Austin − along with her daughters Samantha and Dylan− started sports at Arlington, fields already were in place and she had no concerns. "I was confident the schools would provide good fields." Not your mother's Astro Turf Brian Bellino, varsity coach of football at FDR High School in Hyde Park, also works as assistant recreation director for the town of Poughkeepsie. Young players smile after a game at Overlook Park in Poughkeepsie. Grass fields like this one are much less consistent underfoot. ARTIFICIAL TURF (Continued from Page 25)

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