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Orange County Focus

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO : District to Weigh Athletics Safeguards

May 17, 1993|ANNA CEKOLA

Citing the need to protect student athletes, the Capistrano Unified School District is considering putting into writing guidelines designed to prevent exposure to infectious viruses such as HIV and Hepatitis B from sports-related injuries.

Gloves, germicides, mouthpieces and resuscitation bags would become standard equipment on the playing field under the guidelines detailing how coaches and others should deal with injuries. Also, bloodied uniforms would have to be changed or cleaned before resumption of play, and contaminated towels would be disinfected or thrown away.

"This policy validates the kind of precautions we already have in place," district spokeswoman Jacqueline Price said.

The written guidelines come in response to a recent alert from the California Interscholastic Federation about a proposed policy to prevent the spread of infectious diseases in athletics.

"While the risk of one athlete infecting the other with HIV/AIDS during competition is extremely low, there is a risk of transmitting other blood-borne, infectious diseases," Barbara Smith, director of curriculum and instruction, said in a report to the board.

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