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Florida mother fights for heat safety regulations

Posted at 6:06 AM, Jun 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-12 08:28:28-04

A Fort Myers mother is taking her fight for heat safety regulations to Gainesville. She lost her son, Zach Polsenberg, to heat stroke after a workout and she's determined to make sure that no other parent suffers the same loss.

Zach's mother, Laurie, is pushing for heat-related safety measures in schools state-wide. The push comes as students in sports like football prepare to start their summer workouts.

Last year, Zach collapsed while running sprints with his teammates at Riverdale High. Zach's core temperature when he fell was 107 degrees.

His mother says cooling tubs and thermometers should be required for every practice and game to measure humidity and temperature on the field. Laurie says she would still have her son today if a few policies had been changed.

"If they had gotten him into a cold water immersion tub in the shade quickly, he would still be here"

It's important to note all Lee County schools now have cooling tubs. This is at least partly in response to Polsenberg's death.

But those immersion tubs are not required at this point and that's what the Polsenberg's are trying to change.

Zach's parents are in Gainesville, where the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA)  is meeting to discuss the rules. The board will vote Tuesday on whether cooling tubs should become mandatory. Right now there is an online petition with more than 1600 signature in support of making the rules required.