Nick of Time Foundation in partnership with UW Center for Sports Cardiology and Washington Interscholastic Activites Association (WIAA) were the primary organizers of a new Washington State law regarding sudden cardiac arrest awareness that went into effect July 24, 2015. SB 5083 – referred to as the “Nick of Time” Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) Awareness Act – was passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor with the intent of making youth athletes, their families, and coaches aware of sudden cardiac arrest. The law mandates that ALL players and parent(s)/guardians annually read and acknowledge an informed consent form relating to the nature and risk of sudden cardiac arrest prior to the use of any school facilities in the State of Washington. Coaches are also required to complete sudden cardiac arrest training every three years on the nature and risk of sudden cardiac arrest prior to the first practice/competition. This education shall include signs and symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest. The new law is an important step in ensuring player safety and mitigating sudden cardiac arrest risk.
Similar to the Zachery Lystedt Law (HB 1824) for concussion awareness passed in 2009, SB 5083 specifically outlines requirements for public high schools, private high schools and private nonprofit groups, such as youth soccer clubs/associations, to comply with prior to their first use of school facilities in Washington State by the private nonprofit group.
In order to comply with SB 5083, there are three main areas of immediate action for school, clubs, and associations:
- Annual Statement of Compliance (waiver) from Parent/Guardian and Player – each year, prior to the beginning of the soccer season, each player and the player’s parents and/or guardian must sign and submit to the club or association a statement of compliance that the player and parents have both reviewed this SCA Awareness flyer that provides information about sudden cardiac arrest.
- Coach Training and Certificate of Completion Every Three Years – every three years, each Washington State youth sports coach and assistant coach must complete an online sudden cardiac arrest prevention program and submit a certificate showing completion of the program to the school athletic director or club/association. Nick of Time Foundation recommends viewing the video “Recognition and Management of SCA in Athletes” included below and the use of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NHFS) online training. The training takes approximately 15 minutes and is available for free at https://nfhslearn.com/courses/61032.
- Statement of Compliance from Club/Association – when a club/association plans to use the fields of a school, it must then submit to the school district a Statement of Compliance, which is a certificate stating that it has the statements of compliance from the players and parents/guardians and the training certificates of completion from the coaches, in compliance with the Act.