When children head back to school, the weather is still quite warm. In addition, student-athletes usually report back to start athletic practices weeks before everyone else—still very much in the heart of summer. With temperatures easily in the 90s or breaking 100 degrees, it is shocking to know that coaches require many young athletes to practice outside. Practices can include long periods of running, repeated drills, and other activities that would exhaust an athlete even in indoor air conditioning. When such practices take place outside, students are at a real risk of heat exhaustion.
The news reported that on May 29, 2018, a 19-year-old offensive lineman for the University of Maryland collapsed during sprints at an afternoon practice. Witnesses say it was clear he was in distress, as he hyperventilated, then convulsed and appeared to suffer from a seizure on the field. According to reports, an hour passed before coaches called 911 for help. The coaches and trainers claimed they tried to cool him down, though when he arrived at the hospital, the young man still had a body temperature of 106 degrees. Sadly, he never recovered and died at the hospital two weeks later.
Heat Exhaustion and Heatstroke
Whenever someone is out in high temperatures, they risk suffering from heat exhaustion. Some symptoms include:
- Feeling faint
- Feeling cold or having goosebumps despite the hot weather
- Rapid pulse
- Muscle cramps
- Excessive sweating
When not treated, the body temperature may rise above 104 degrees, which can lead to life-threatening heatstroke. Heatstroke can damage your brain and vital organs, leading to death. Due to these risks, anyone with heat exhaustion should take steps to cool down immediately, including getting out of the heat, drinking cool water, stopping physical activities, and icing down if needed.
The Duty of Coaches and Trainers
When a child participates in a school athletic program, the coaches, trainers, and other supervisors have the legal duty to keep that child safe. This can mean:
- Providing proper athletic and safety equipment
- Not pushing young athletes beyond the appropriate skill or activity level
- Recognizing a student’s injury or illness and rendering immediate aid
If coaches or trainers see that a child is suffering from heat exhaustion, they should always get the child inside right away and take necessary steps to cool them down. If a child is at risk of heatstroke, they should call emergency medical personnel immediately. If school employees fail to take such steps and your child suffers a serious injury, parents should hold the school and related organizations responsible.
Contact Our Maryland Personal Injury Law Firm for Help
The injury lawyers at Alpert Schreyer, LLC, represent injured clients of all ages throughout Maryland. Nothing can be more stressful than hearing your child suffered injuries while in the care of someone else. We can investigate what happened and determine whether a school or another party should be liable for all of your child’s medical bills, pain and suffering, and more. Call (301) 812-4777 or contact us online for a free case evaluation today.