CHICAGO -- The nation's largest pediatrician group says it's safe for healthy children and teenage athletes to play sports in hot, steamy weather as long as precautions are taken.

St. Cloud Cathedral Activities Director Emmett Keenan says they educate their coaches and athletic trainers on the importance of staying hydrated and signs of heat exhaustion. He says they ask students to come to practice with some conditioning under their belt and school officials will move practices to morning or evening on especially hot days.

Keenan says the Minnesota State High School League also provides a chart with guidelines that indicate whether it is safe to practice in various conditions.

The American Academy of Pediatricians has issued new guidelines that replace a more restrictive policy based on old thinking that young people were more vulnerable to heat stress than adults. The academy says new research shows that's not true.

Sweltering temperatures is the prime suspect in the death of a 14-year-old South Carolina football player who collapsed following a practice recently.