A new high school sports study puts Colorado dead last when it comes to following safety guidelines that protect student-athletes from potentially life-threatening conditions.
The Korey Stringer Institute, named for the former Minnesota Vikings player who died from heat stroke, ranked states on their health and safety policies.
At the top of their games, North Carolina and Kentucky ranked number one and two in the 2017 High School Sports Safety Policy Rankings. Rounding out the bottom two, California and, yes, Colorado.
According to the Institute, the purpose of this study is to "provide a graded assessment of the implementation of health and safety policies pertaining to the leading causes of sudden death and catastrophic injury in a sport at the state level for secondary school athletics within the United States and District of Columbia."
Now the Korey Stringer Institute is urging high schools to make simple policy changes that can save lives.
They pointed out that adopting such safety policies would likely cost less than $5,000 per school year.
"Our focus here is catastrophic injuries in sports. Things that are emergencies. I didn't get to say before, but an important point to note, most of the things I mentioned here today - if you do the correct thing or the wrong thing - it all happens in the first ten minutes after the cardiac, heat stroke, head injury. The first five or ten minutes really dictate if the athlete lives or dies," said Dr. Douglas Casa with the Korey Stringer Institute.
© 2017 KUSA-TV