Get Lifesaving Heat Illness policies approved for Florida High Schools
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On the morning of June 29, 2017, 16 year-old Zach had just finished running sprints with his high school football team when he collapsed. His coaches and teammates tried to revive him to no avail. Zach was taken to Golisano Children's Hospital where they diagnosed him with a core temperature of 107 degrees, heat stroke, devastating internal injuries, and coma. He was moved to Holtz Children's Hospital in Miami July 6, 2017, for more specialized care. Zach's condition continued to worsen, and he was removed from life support on July 10, 2017.
Zach's death, and other Exhertional Heat Illness (EHI) injuries and deaths, are an unnecessary result of a lack of awareness of the signs & symptoms of EHI, and little knowledge on the topic of treatments.
The Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) Board of Directors are currently reviewing items for the agenda for the April 29th meeting. They MUST hear from YOU on the lifesaving Exertional Heat Stroke safety policies we have worked so hard for, listed below:
-Mandatory Wet Bulb Globe Thermometer (WBGT) use requirement - this will display the Heat Stress Level at their practice field & indicate alternative practice schedules
-Mandatory Cold Water Immersion (CWI) use requirement - medically proven 100% survival rate when used to immediately treat Exertional Heat Stroke
-Adding language to preseason conditioning in the summer to include the above mandatory WBGT and CWI requirements - currently there is no language that requires either of these during summer conditioning practices
-FHSAA Board to engage in discussions with school superintendents to require mandatory coaches safety education on Exertional Heat Illnesses - currently available on the NFHS site as a no-cost, 30 minute video.
The FHSAA Board has an opportunity to protect our children, before the hot summer conditioning begins again this year, by including these items on the April Board of Directors meeting agenda, and approving them as MANDATORY POLICY, not simply a recommendation, to Florida schools.
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