A New Jersey senator has introduced a new bill in memory of Braeden Bradforth. He’s a New Jersey student-athlete who died of heat stroke following football practice at Garden City Community College in the Summer of 2018.
Braeden’s autopsy revealed that he suffered from exertional heat stroke following a conditioning test his team was made to run in the heat.
This week, Senator Vin Gopal of NJ introduced a bill to “protect student athletes from suffering Braeden’s fate.”
Under the bill, school districts and New Jersey public colleges will be required to establish a policy to prevent and treat exertional heat illnesses in athletes for all practices, games, and athletic contests.
According to Sen. Gopal’s office, the policies must outline strategies for acclimatizing players to hot weather, guidelines for modifying or cancelling games in sufficiently hot weather, and a requirement that student-athletes have uninhibited access to hydration and a space to cool off.
The bill also requires that an independent third party investigate any student-athlete deaths related to athletic performance.
Finally, under the bill, the Commissioner of Education will be required to prepare and share a pamphlet about exertional heat stroke with all student-athletes and their families. That pamphlet must include an explanation of exertional heat stroke, how to prevent it, a list of risk factors and early warning signs and symptoms, and a list of appropriate treatments. All student-athletes, their parents, and coaching staff will be required to acknowledge receiving and reviewing this pamphlet.
“With the one-year anniversary of the death of my son Braeden having just passed, I am very grateful for the efforts of Senator Gopal in introducing legislation which addresses the serious issue of exertional heat stroke among student athletes,” said Braeden’s mother, Joanne Bradforth in a press release.