Support the Zachary Martin Act (Florida Athlete Safety Bill SB1696/HB7011)

This petition made change with 32,568 supporters!

My name is Laurie Martin-Giordano and my son, Zach suffered an Exertional Heat Stroke (EHS) during summer conditioning workouts for football in 2017. He fought incredibly hard for 11 days, but he could not survive his devastating injuries. I had to plan my 16 year old son's funeral. In the weeks after his death, I began to research exertional heat stroke and I learned a few things that crushed my already broken heart:

  1. EHS is preventable simply by recognizing the early symptoms of heat illness (dizziness, vomiting) and removing the person from the activity to a cooler area, away from the sun.
  2. 100% of EHS victims survive when Cold Water Immersion (CWI) is used promptly, on-site.

CWI wasn't used to treat Zach, but why not? Florida high school athletes, cheerleaders, band members, and JROTC all traditionally participate in summer conditioning workouts. I learned that any rules and policies, set up by the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) to ensure their kids' safety, ONLY apply during the academic school year. The guidelines for response to cardiac arrest and heat illness, 2 of the 3 most common reasons for sudden death of high school kids, are only suggestions. (Football practice for two weeks prior to school starting in the Fall is included as "pre-season" with a few specific rules.)

All attempts over the last 2 years by me, along with heat illness experts, Athletic Trainers, and FHSAA's own Medical Advisory Board, to change the handbook suggestions to mandatory policies have been voted down by the FHSAA Board. This week, Legislators in the FL House of Representatives have a bill to vote on that incorporates "best practice" safety measures to protect our kids, including the use of AED's, Wet Bulb Globe Thermometer temperature activity modification guidelines and using Cold Water Immersion to treat EHS.

By signing this petition, you are voicing your support of the proposed sports safety bill that will be discussed and believe this legislation will save lives, and is necessary to provide leadership to our schools in regard to sports safety. 

Today: Laurie is counting on you

Laurie Giordano needs your help with “Protect our kids: Florida legislation is moving on the High School Athlete Safety Bill”. Join Laurie and 32,567 supporters today.