Articles

State rep says providing water for high school athletes an "easy fix"

by Chris Renkel & Stephanie Kuzydym, WKRC

Friday, August 14th 2020

https://local12.com/news/investigates/athletes-at-risk/state-representative-says-providing-water-for-high-school-athletes-an-easy-fix-cincinnati

HARRISON, Ohio (WKRC) – A Local 12 Investigation is causing parents to question how protected their kids are at practice under current COVID guidelines.

A state representative says our coverage that aired Thursday into the lack of water supplied to athletes during high school practice is concerning.

Cindy Abrams is more than a state representative. She's a mom to two athletes at Elder High School. So, when she saw our story regarding how hydration stations aren't allowed under current guidelines, she said she started getting questions from other athletes' parents.

“There's all these what-ifs,” Abrams said. “So, you run out of water -- and we've had 90-plus-degree days here in Cincinnati. It's dangerous.”

Abrams has a bill, House Bill 484, in the Senate that would update what an athletic trainer can do, like administering an IV if an athlete is dehydrated. Right now, an athletic trainer could only call 911 to give an athlete an IV.

“Honestly, there's a common-sense answer to all of this,” Abrams said:

Parents.

Abrams knows that athletic trainers have lots of duties, especially during the pandemic, to be the health care professional of the sidelines -- not a waterboy -- so, a parent could volunteer.

“You have a parent who is healthy, who's not sick. They're masked up. They're gloved up,” Abrams said. “You have the parent fill up the jug and you call it a day.”

Every school in Abrams' district has a sports program and she already found that a parent or guardian who would be happy to volunteer.

“I mean, I'm happy to do that,” Abrams said. “And if there's a school district that doesn't have volunteers, I'm happy to do it...Again keeping these kids healthy and safe on the sidelines and keeping them from being dehydrated is very important.”

Gov. Mike DeWine said in his press conference Thursday he will provide an update about fall sports on Tuesday.

Local 12 Investigates reached out to Lt. Gov. Jon Husted by email on Monday about the lack of hydration stations and what could be changed to make sure they were on the sidelines. We are still awaiting a response.