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Student Well-Being

Georgia Adopts New Heat-Acclimatization Rules for Youth Athletes

By Bryan Toporek — March 22, 2012 1 min read

The Georgia High School Association revised its rules regarding sports practices in heat and humidity on Monday, limiting the amount of time that coaches can expose youth athletes to extreme conditions.

The decision was at least partially in response to a recent study that found an average of three football players nationally dying from heat-related causes each year over the past 15 years, after averaging only roughly one per year before. Georgia led the nation with six heat-related deaths over that 15-year period.

Just last year, three youth-football players died due to heat-related causes all within a span of a week. Two of the three students attended high schools in Georgia, although one of the Georgia players died at a football camp in Lake City, Fla.

Now, in the first week of football practice, Georgia schools may not hold practices for longer than two hours, and players can only wear helmets and mouthpieces in that first week. After the first week, a player may practice in full pads, twice a day,

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.