Students Can't Take Heat at Ball Game

Thursday, Jun 9, 2011  |  Updated 8:36 PM EDT
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Some folks were coping with today's heat but some couldn't handle it.  First responders have been busy tending to people who ventured out.

Derrick Ward

Some folks were coping with today's heat but some couldn't handle it. First responders have been busy tending to people who ventured out.

A field trip to a minor league baseball game on a hot and humid Thursday morning led to dozens of students being taken to area hospitals because of heat exhaustion.

The students from Calvert, St. Marys and Charles counties traveled to the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs game at Regency Furniture Stadium as part of a Baseball in Education Day promotion.

The game started at 10:35 a.m., but the heat was still a factor for those in attendance as temperatures were expected to climb through the day to near 100 degrees.

Charles County spokeswoman Crystal Hunt said a total of 82 children were either treated at the stadium or were taken to hospitals, The Associated Press reported. It was not known how many of the students had been released from the hospital as of Thursday afternoon. But Hunt said the most seriously ill student, who showed symptoms of a heat stroke, has been released.

Five students who were on a bus going back to their schools were taken off the bus and transported to a hospital in La Plata.

And 48 students on buses taking them back to two elementary schools in Prince Frederick were checked out. Twenty-six were taken to area hospitals. The buses were not air conditioned.

Officials said the students were exhibiting signs of heat exhaustion -- feeling faint and sweating excessively. EMS crews at the scene started treating the kids but were soon overwhelmed and had to call for additional units.

Most of the kids were treated at the scene with ice and water.

William Stephens, director of emergency services for Charles County, he can't remember an event of a similar magnitude in his 25 years on the job.

The Blue Crabs eventually won the game 5-3.

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