“This is an important piece of legislation that I hope will protect the health and safety of our student athletes,” Beshear said. “I applaud the sponsors for their efforts to protect our students from the dangers of heatstroke, illness and injuries incurred while participating in sporting events through the bill’s requirements for proper training and equipment.”
Rep. Jenkins was the primary sponsor of HB 383, which will require high school coaches to complete a 10-hour course in emergency planning, heat and cold illnesses, emergency recognition, head injuries, neck injuries, facial injuries and principles of first aid. The course must by taught by a qualified professional who must be a certified athletic trainer, registered nurse, physician or physician assistant licensed to practice in Kentucky. All coaches must pass a test after the course. Beginning in 2009-2010 at least one person who has completed the course must be at every high school athletic practice and competition.
Also included in the legislation, the Kentucky High School Athletics Association, with assistance from the Kentucky Department of Education, are required to staff and coordinate a study of sports safety to be completed no later than Oct. 1, 2009. This study, among other things, will collect data regarding sports injuries, by sport, in Kentucky and examine data reporting requirements and responsibilities for oversight when injuries occur.