Corbett signs bill to protect student athletes

Gov. Tom Corbett signed a bill today to provide more protection for student athletes by requiring eduction about Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA).

SCA is the leading killer of student athletes, claiming up to 7,000 lives nationally, officials said. House Bill 1610 requires coaches, trainers, student athletes and parents to learn the symptoms of SCA before they can participate in sports. It also mandates that athletes with symptoms be screened by a medical professional before they can resume activity.

Corbett signed the bill at Visitation Blessed Virgin Mary Elementary School in Norristown.

“Being sidelined for a game is better than being lost forever,” Corbett said in a statement. “This is a law of prevention, born out of a painful loss and a spirit of generosity from these families who have seen beyond their own sorrow and found hope for others.”

Symptoms include fainting, shortness of breath, chest pains, dizziness and a racing heart rate.

The law also requires coaches to complete an SCA training course each year through a Department of Health provider. The law takes effect in 60 days.

More effort is being into protecting athletes, including student athletes, nationally as more research is done about the effects of injuries on players’ long-term health. A host of former players recently sued the National Football League for allegedly failing to prevent concussions.

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