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Heat Stress in Summer Sports

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After a string of lawsuits involving football coaches allegedly running their young athletes too hard in the high heat – causing heat stroke, heat exhaustion and death in some cases – some parents are reluctant to enroll their children in summer sports. This is understandable, as sports like football carry many risks (highlighted by the series of NFL lawsuits connecting tackles to traumatic brain injuries). Here are some things to keep in mind when your child signs up for sports this summer.

  • Medication. Is your child on any doctor-prescribed medication? If so, that could play a role in how his or her body responds to strenuous activities in high temperatures. Kentucky high school football coach Jason Stinson was found not guilty in the death of one of his teenage athletes, possibly in part due to that athlete’s prescribed use of Adderall.
  • Waivers. If you have to sign any waivers for your son or daughter’s athletic program, take a closer look at the fine print. If possible, make a copy to keep for your records. Even if the waiver does prevent you from taking action against the organizers for certain accidents or injuries, it does not always hold up in court if the at-fault party acted irresponsibly.
  • Accommodations. Make sure the coaches are providing plenty of water and rest during practice. Use your judgment: if you think the coaching staff is pushing kids too hard and endangering their health, remove your child from the program.

Did your child suffer heat stroke or heat exhaustion related to an athletics program? If so, you may have grounds to seek justice. Call us today for a free consultation.

“Behold, children are a heritage form the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” – Psalm 127:3

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