April 14, 2022

Media Alert: Virginia Governor Signs AIHA-Supported Bill to Develop Heat Illness Guidelines for School Athletic Programs

What: AIHA, the association for occupational and environmental health and safety in the workplace and community, welcomes Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin’s signing of Senate Bill 161. The newly signed legislation directs the Virginia Department of Education to work with stakeholders to develop guidelines that will be used by schools to create policies informing and educating coaches, student athletes, and parents or guardians about the risks, recognition, and prevention of heat-related illness. These guidelines must be distributed to local school divisions by August 1, 2022.

Why: SB 161 is a bipartisan bill that was supported either unanimously or by large majorities as it moved through state legislative committees and when it was approved by the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates. In February, AIHA sent a letter (PDF) to Virginia legislators in support of this bill. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heat illness during practice or competition is a leading cause of death and disability among high school athletes. This issue is expected to become more serious as extreme heat becomes more common across the country.

Where: For more information on the legislation, please visit Virginia’s Legislative Information System.

Who: Founded in 1939, AIHA is a nonprofit organization serving professionals dedicated to the anticipation, recognition, evaluation, control, and confirmation of environmental stressors in or arising from the workplace that may result in injury, illness, or impairment, or affect the well-being of workers and members of the community. AIHA provides comprehensive education programs and other products and services that help its members maintain the highest professional standards. More than half of AIHA’s nearly 8,500 members are Certified Industrial Hygienists, and many hold other professional designations. AIHA serves as a resource for those employed in the industrial, consulting, academic, and government sectors. For more information, please visit www.aiha.org.

Contact: For additional information, contact Mark Ames, AIHA's director of government relations.