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Death from heat illness draws attention to college practices

A young football player for a Kansas community college collapsed after starting his first day of conditioning practice. The young man, only 19, died from heatstroke.

According to the news on Nov. 14, the young defensive lineman was found outside his dormitory in an alleyway in August. He died later that night at the hospital.

This national news is important, especially for young people who may be joining sports teams in the Florida heat. In this case, it is believed that a lack of oversight led to the teen's death and that the family will be pursuing a lawsuit unless the school plans to settle.

The school is accused of failing to assess the athletes before the conditioning test and not considering that the teen may not have yet acclimatized to working out at the higher altitude and in the summer temperatures. The teen was originally from New Jersey, a lower-altitude and generally cooler state.

An investigation into the college showed that it wasn't sufficiently prepared to make practices safe or to deal with cases of heat illness. No staff member, emergency personnel, coach or other person treated him as he developed escalating symptoms of the fatal heat illness.

While this death did not happen in Florida, it's important to know how colleges in Florida handle heat illnesses if you plan to send your children there. With proper planning, it is possible to avoid having a heat illness turn into a wrongful death. Good training, regular breaks for water and general knowledge of heat illnesses can help prevent incidences like this from occurring in your own state.

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