Blake Applauds Law Protecting Student Athletes

HARRISBURG, June 7, 2012 – – Pennsylvania now has a new law to protect student athletes from sudden cardiac arrest, according to state Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe).

House Bill 1610, signed into law last week, requires that children showing the symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest – fainting, shortness of breath, chest pains, dizziness, racing heart rate – be properly screened by a medical professional before returning to participation in vigorous sports or athletic activity.

“Many families across the country have had to deal with the tragedy of losing a child — a young student-athlete — due to sudden cardiac arrest. It is important that parents and coaches be made aware of the warning signs,” Blake said. “Protecting our children is of the utmost importance and this new law will serve to reduce the risks and the dangers of sudden cardiac arrest.”

The new law also ensures coaches, trainers, student athletes and parents will be educated on the symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest. Student athletes will also be required to have their parents sign a list of sudden cardiac arrest symptoms before being allowed to participate in sporting events.

According to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA), it is estimated that more than 100 young athletes die each year in sports-related incidents and close to half of those fatalities are attributed to sudden cardiac arrest.

Sen. Blake, who introduced a similar bill in the Senate last year, commended State Representative Mike Vereb (R-Montgomery) who introduced House Bill 1610.  It was signed into law by Governor Corbett on May 30 as Act 59 of 2012.

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