Local athletic director talks about being prepared for emergencies involving student-athletes

Published: Jul. 26, 2023 at 10:58 PM EDT
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PENDER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - The health scare that happened to Bronny James, LeBron James’ oldest son, has local school officials making sure they have safety measures that are up to date.

With sport seasons getting ready to start, Matt Davis, the athletic director for Pender County Schools, says schools have put in plans to ensure the safety of student-athletes.

“We do our best at all levels to minimize the risk of any type of health scare or anything like that,” Davis said. “Our coaches are trained. They walk through different scenarios on an annual basis.”

That training involves certification in cardio pulmonary resussitation. High schools and middle schools in the county are also outfitted with AEDs, automated external defibrillators, which are used to help restart a heartbeat in the case of an emergency.

Davis says the county also has specific guidelines in place in case first responders are needed.

“Every venue at the high school level and our middle school level has an emergency action plan that is specific to that venue. So coaches practice that with their players. It is developed and reviewed annually,” Davis said.

A health review of student-athletes is also required every year in the form of physicals performed by a doctor.

Davis also says they can deny a student’s physical if they have certain health concerns — and he listed several other health measures students can take to ensure their own safety.

“Obviously hydration and proper nutrition are first and foremost,” he said. “But just monitor your own symptoms as you’re practicing and we do our best to practice outside of the heat of the day. But if folks are starting to notice that they are overheating, let a coach know and go from there.”