Heat-Related Deaths in Sports

In a period of less than 20 years, 40 high school football players have died from heat stroke, according to the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research at the University of North Carolina. The numbers have increased in the past decade, the center found.

Families of Athletes to Sue Over Heat-Related Deaths

by Lizette Alvarez

New York Times

MIAMI — As high school football players around the country gear up for practices in the searing heat, two families in Southern states whose sons died last summer after strenuous workouts are suing in hopes of holding school officials accountable.

The two 16-year-olds, Isaiah Laurencin in Florida and Don’terio J. Searcy in Georgia, were among five high school students who collapsed after exerting themselves in high temperatures last year and later died.

Their parents say the pressure to train hard even in high temperatures and humidity, in some cases as often as three times a day, was central to their sons’ deaths. They blame school leaders and coaches, who they say could have done more to protect the boys during practice by employing more stringent safeguards against heat exertion, as the National Football League and college teams have done.

Instead, the coaches pushed the boys too hard to produce winning teams and did not take precautions, the parents said. Both schools — Miramar High School in Florida and Fitzgerald High School in Georgia — have prominent football programs.

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