Florida’s New Concussion Law & Heat Guidelines

This football and sports season offered change in the form of new concussion legislation regarding safe return to play following a concussion. The FHSAA also implemented Heat & Practice guidelines for the first 14 days of sports which applies to all sports. On the whole, both seemed to be well accepted but provides a learning curve for coaches to adhere to the policies. I never had so many athletes to ask what time it was or how long practice was going? Also, a great opportunity for the education of parents, athletes, coaches and administrations about these two important issues. Hopefully, a safer sports environment will be created for these athletes. Will the decreased practice time or number of teaching sessions actually affect the quality of any programs? Will the injury rate be reduced? In reality, it was evident that kids still need good nutrition and hydration information and a means to implement as some are constrained by time, family or economic issues. Having kids come to practice and attempt to perform at a high level is reason for concern and compromises safety & performance. Heat illness is preventable and constant encouragement and education is needed to help promote good hydration to make a vital part of any athletes skill set. Have a safe and successful season!

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