Friday, June 15, 2018
Last month, Indiana hit record-breaking temperatures. To help keep Hoosier students safe when outside, the Indiana General Assembly passed common-sense bills requiring a heat preparedness course for coaches and allowing students to possess sunscreen at school.
House Enrolled Act 1024 requires all head and assistant athletic coaches to complete a certified coaching education course that includes content for prevention and response to heat-related medical issues. Heat exhaustion causing cardiac arrest is the greatest threat to student athletes’ safety and well-being, and this law will help ensure that coaches of students in grades 5-12 are trained to recognize the signs of heat exhaustion.
Serious sunburns can increase a child’s risk of skin cancer later in life. Unprotected skin can be damaged by the sun’s UV rays in as little as 15 minutes, which is why it is vital parents protect their children with sunscreen. Senate Enrolled Act 24 addresses this issue by allowing students to possess sunscreen on school property without a physician’s note. This was a common-sense change, and eliminating the hassle of requiring our students to have a doctor’s note will encourage them to use sunscreen.
While these laws are in place, it is important for parents to be informed on how to prevent their children from heat-related illnesses this summer. Dehydration is a very common heat‐related illness that can be life threatening if left untreated. The Safe Kids Coalition urges parents and caregivers to watch for warning signs of dehydration, like thirst, dry or sticky mouth, headache, muscle cramping, irritability, extreme fatigue, weakness, dizziness or decreased performance.
For more information on summer safety tips for kids, click here.