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Injuries From Heat Exhaustion in School Sports

Jordan McNair was a 19-year-old college athlete with a promising future ahead of him. Reports indicate that on May 19, 2018, he showed signs of serious heat exhaustion during a football practice at the University of Maryland. Coaches and trainers witnessed him struggling, including an apparent seizure on the field, but they waited nearly an hour to call for emergency medical help. McNair’s condition escalated to heatstroke, and he passed away at the hospital two weeks later.

School athletics have their inherent risks of injuries, especially for contact sports. However, coaches and trainers should play an important role in keeping kids as safe as possible. One duty they have is to get student-athletes prompt medical attention as soon as they suspect there is a problem. With the case of Jordan McNair, the trainers waited an hour to call 911, and when the young man got to the hospital, we still had a temperature of 106, indicating his trainers did little to cool him down.

When you send your child back to school for sports practices, they will often run and perform drills outside. While it is still hot, coaches and trainers should always be carefully watching for signs of heat exhaustion. If a child seems to be struggling, coaches should never push them to simply work harder. Instead, they should allow them to stop physical activity, go inside away from the heat, and have access to water and ice as needed.

Heat exhaustion may not seem like a serious sports injury—after all, the risk of brain injuries and spinal injuries is often the main concern for parents of athletes. However, when heat exhaustion goes untreated and the body rises above 104, a child can suffer from heatstroke. This condition can cause brain damage and is life-threatening.

Liability for Sports Injuries

Some sports injuries happen in the normal course of a game. For such injuries, parents generally will not have the right to seek compensation from the school or related parties. However, if an injury occurs or worsens because of the negligence of a coach, trainer, or sports facility, injured students have the right to compensation for their losses. Such losses may include:

  • Medical expenses for all past and future treatment
  • Lost scholarships or opportunities if the student can no longer play sports
  • Physical and emotional pain and suffering
  • Permanent disabilities
  • Wrongful death

If you suspect that a school did not meet its duty to keep your child safe, you should always discuss a possible legal claim with a skilled personal injury lawyer.

Consult Our Gwinnett County Personal Injury Lawyers About Your Rights

The legal team at Brauns Law, PC represents injured children and adults seeking to hold negligent parties liable for their losses. We file claims following car accidents, falls, work accidents, sports injuries, and more. We will evaluate your rights and advise you of the best course of action to ensure you receive the compensation you or your child deserves. Please do not hesitate to call (404) 348-0889 or contact us online for a free consultation as soon as possible.

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