A school district in Kentucky has agreed to a $1.75 million settlement with the parents of a male student who died on the football field in August 2008. The 15-year-old boy died of heat exhaustion, and the suit accused the head football coach of negligence, saying the amount of running and lack of water at practice caused the boy’s death. Criminal charges were filed against Coach Jason Stinson, the first coach to be charged in the heat-related death of a player, but he was acquitted. Read Article:
Back in April I commented on an article about a college basketball player who died as a result of being allowed to play ball without having an electrocardiogram which would have documented his heart condition and precluded him from playing. The doctor who neglected to follow up with this young man was found guilty of wrongful death.
In this case, the boy was a 15 year old high school football player who died from heat stroke after collapsing at practice. We have all seen these young men out practicing in full gear in the southern heat and humidity of August. While I understand that this is necessary to be ready and in shape for football season, caution should not be thrown to the winds when it comes to these kids’ health and welfare.
As this article shows, it would be in the children’s best interest to make sure that coaches and their assistants are better trained to recognize the early symptoms of heat stroke as well as taking other precautions to avoid disaster. Parents should get involved and find out what type of training their kids coaches have undergone and what they consider acceptable and unacceptable practice conditions.