Many high school athletes have collapsed due to the intense Florida heat and humidity. One story in particular highlighted the danger back in 2017, when Zachary Martin-Polsenberg fainted during football practice at Fort Myers in Riverdale, Florida. He was rushed to the hospital, where his internal body temperature was over 105 degrees. Martin died after 11 days on life support.
Martin isn’t alone in this issue. Since 2011, an estimated 47 high school football players have died due to heat stroke during or following practice, according to the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research.
Florida is one of the hottest states in the country. During the summer, temperatures regularly exceed 90 degrees, often rising above 100 with the intense humidity. Being outside in shorts and a t-shirt gets toasty enough. Just imagine wearing about 20 pounds of pads while sprinting and slamming into other players.
Governor Ron DeSantis has just signed into law the Zachary Martin Act, which requires schools to provide cooling areas for athletes. These areas should include large bins full of cool water readily available in case an athlete starts overheating.
Any measures necessary to keep students healthy and safe should be taken, and Gov. DeSantis has done just that. Football practices are slowly returning, and schools have until July 1 to adjust to the new policy.
Written by: Cameron Jones