Congratulations on this momentous occasion in the life of every student athlete and the parents that helped them reach this point! All the hard work has finally paid off and your son/daughter is set to begin his/her first day as a college athlete. But first, here’s what you should know/have:
Sign a Power of Attorney
Most parents would never think of having a Medical Power of Attorney in place. In the event of a medical emergency, a Power of Attorney gives you, the parent, consent to act on the behalf of your child. It authorizes you to make medical decisions and secure medical treatment (including medication) when your child is unable to do so in such cases as being unresponsive due to trauma or in a medically induced coma. Caringinfo.org is a great place to download a state specific Medical Power of Attorney. Click HERE to visit their website. Maryland residents can download the Maryland State Power of Attorney by clicking HERE.
Know About the NCAA Life Insurance Policy
According to the NCAA’s website, “the NCAA sponsors a Catastrophic Injury Insurance Program which covers the student-athlete who is catastrophically injured while participating in a covered intercollegiate athletic activity.” Three types of benefits are available under this program: medical benefits, true catastrophic injury benefits and a death benefit. Understanding life insurance can be complicated and may require the assistance of an attorney.
Talk to Your Son/Daughter About the Symptoms of Heat-related Illnesses
Heat-related illnesses are the 3rd cause of death in student athletes. These illnesses include heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and the life-threatening heatstroke. Before you drop your son/daughter off at campus make sure he knows his body and when something just isn’t right.
Know the Schools’ Policy on Secondary Medical Insurance on Student Athletes
The policy for medical insurance can differ across universities and colleges. It is highly recommended that you speak with the school about their specific policy.
Know if Athletic Trainers’ Certifications are Up to Date
This might seem obvious, but it is an important question to ask. The National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) requires that Athletic Trainers “meet ongoing continuing education requirements in order to remain certified.”
Know the Incident Emergency and Heat Stroke Emergency Plans
While this is recommended before any agreements are signed, if you have not already inquired, ask the college/university for a copy of their emergency action plan.For students playing outdoor sports, we recommend inquiring about the school’s heat stroke response plan. It is important that your student-athlete knows the signs and symptoms of heatstroke so that he may act accordingly whether that be to help him/herself or a teammate. The NCAA recommends that students who may be suffering from heat stroke should be cooled first, transported second.Furthermore, The NCAA’s Sports Medicine Handbook states the following:
“Institutions should have on file and annually update an emergency action plan for each athletics venue to respond to student-athlete catastrophic injuries and illnesses, including but not limited to, concussions, heat illness, spine injury, cardiac arrest, respiratory distress (e.g., asthma) and sickle cell trait (SCT) collapses. All athletics health care providers and coaches, including strength and conditioning coaches, sport coaches and all athletics personnel conducting activities with student-athletes, should review and practice the plan at least annually.”