Florida lawmakers take aim at athlete heat strokes

Florida lawmakers gave final approval Thursday to a bill designed to protect high-school athletes from suffering heat strokes.

The bill, which now goes to Gov. Ron DeSantis for consideration, is named the “Zachary Martin Act,” after a Southwest Florida high-school student who died during a football practice. House members unanimously approved the bill (HB 7011) on Thursday, after it passed the Senate last week.

The bill would require the Florida High School Athletic Association to take a series of steps to curb heat strokes. For example, the association would have to establish requirements for “cooling zones,” which could include such things as cold-water immersion tubs.

“Heat stroke is 100 percent avoidable if rapid cooling begins within the first 10 minutes,” House sponsor Ralph Massullo, a Lecanto Republican who is a dermatologist, said during a January discussion on the issue.

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.