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Legal Information

AB 1639 enacts the Eric Paredes Sudden Cardiac Arrest Act. The Act applies to public schools, including charter schools, and private schools that elect to conduct “athletic activities.” Athletic activities are defined as (1) interscholastic athletics, (2) an athletic contest or competition that is sponsored by the school, including cheerleading and club sponsored sports activities, (3) non-competitive cheerleading sponsored by the school, and (4) practices, interscholastic practices, and scrimmages for all activities listed above. Under this law, schools must provide students with a copy of the sudden cardiac arrest information sheet (“information sheet”) required by the California Interscholastic Federation (“Federation”). The Act further requires that each school year, beginning on or after July 1, 2017, before a student participates in an athletic activity governed by the Federation, the student’s school collects and retains a signed copy of the student’s information sheet. Before a student participates in an athletic activity not governed by the Federation, the student and student’s parent or guardian must sign and return a form acknowledging receipt and review of the information posted on the Department’s website. Additionally, under the Act, a coach of an athletic activity must complete sudden cardiac arrest training. A coach must then retake the course every two years. If a coach violates this requirement on or after July 1, 2019, he or she will be subject to suspension from coaching until he or she completes the training. Education Code section 33479.2(a) requires the California Department of Education to post on its Internet Web site guidelines, videos, and an information sheet on sudden cardiac arrest symptoms and warning signs, and other relevant materials to inform and educate pupils and parents, and to train coaches about the nature and warning signs of sudden cardiac arrest, including the risks associated with continuing to play or practice after experiencing fainting or seizures during exercise, unexplained shortness of breath, chest pains, dizziness, a racing heart rate, or extreme fatigue. Education Code section 33479.2(c) states that school districts and schools are encouraged to post the information and material posted by the California Department of Education on their Internet Web sites to give pupils, parents, and coaches ready access to the information. Finally, if a student who passes out or faints while participating in or immediately following an athletic activity, or is known to have passed out or fainted, an athletic director, coach, athletic trainer, or other authorized employee, volunteer, or contractor is authorized to provide health or medical services to students, must remove that student from participation in the athletic activity. A student who exhibits any other symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest during an athletic activity may be removed from participation, as specified. A student removed from an athletic activity may not return to participate in the activity until the student is evaluated and cleared, in writing, to participate by a physician, surgeon, or a nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant practicing pursuant to specified protocols. NFHS Sudden Cardiac Arrest Course: