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Sports study: High school athletes not being fully protected

NEW YORK (AP) — A high school sports study conducted by the Korey Stringer Institute and sponsored in part by the NFL shows that many individual states are not fully implementing key safety guidelines to protect athletes from potentially life-threatening conditions, including heat stroke.

More than 7.8 million high school students participate in sanctioned sports annually. KSI announced the results Tuesday at a news conference at NFL headquarters.

The state-by-state survey showed North Carolina with the most comprehensive health and safety policies at 79 percent, followed by Kentucky at 71 percent. At the bottom were Colorado (23 percent) and California (26 percent). Those scores were based on a state meeting best practice guidelines addressing the four major causes of sudden death for that age group: cardiac arrest; traumatic head injuries; exertional heat stroke; and exertional sickling occurring in athletes with sickle cell trait.

The institute is a sports safety research and advocacy organization located at the University of Connecticut and named after the former Vikings star who died from exertional heat stroke in 2001.

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