With school sports activities, practice and training camps taking place in the spring and summer months, teens are often running laps and practicing drills in full gear in the peak seasonal heat. This can lead to dehydration, heat stroke and death.
When does this become wrongful death? There are a few standards to consider.
Was water immediately accessible?
Sports activities in high temperatures increase water loss, so there should be water easily accessible for teens to drink during practice. Kids should be free to get a drink when necessary as well. Any restrictions to water access could be a liability.
Were the athletic association’s safety requirements followed?
Most high school athletic associations have strict regulations for the amount of time that teens can practice, the temperatures when practices are safe and when teens should get a break. If the coach violates these guidelines and a child dies from heat stroke or exertion as a result, that may be a wrongful death.
Did your child have an underlying condition?
Many teens with underlying medical conditions still qualify to play school sports. However, sometimes those conditions are not adequately accommodated. In those situations, and when paired with training in extreme conditions, this can be hazardous.
School sports regulations and safety precautions play an important role in protecting children who participate in those extracurricular activities. When someone bypasses those rules or pushes the children too hard, they may be liable for the consequences, including wrongful death claims if a child should die while in their care.