SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Brian Maienschein’s important legislation regarding California’s youth and physical activity has passed through the Legislature and is now with the Governor. Assembly Bill 856, the COVID-19 Youth Return to Physical Activity Information Act, has an urgency clause, meaning the bill will take effect immediately once the Governor signs the bill into law.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused all of us to halt our normal routines. So many Californians have seen firsthand the complications COVID-19 can bring, but many are still unaware of the adverse health impacts the disease can have on youth. Youth participating in physical activity after exposure to COVID-19 can result in sudden cardiac arrest, one of the leading causes of death among young students in the United States. The American Academy of Pediatrics has current guidelines on the risks COVID-19 poses on physical activity in youth, as well as guidelines on returning to these activities. Providing this information to youth and their parents will make them aware of symptoms and can help protect them from developing serious short-term, long-term and potentially fatal health issues.
AB 856 will encourage schools to annually share information, until 2025, to students and their parents on the health risks and recommended guidelines for youth engaging in physical activity in the era of COVID-19. This bill would require the Department of Education to post an information sheet for pupils on the department website stating the current COVID-19 health risks and the guidelines set by the American Academy of Pediatrics for gradually returning to physical exercise. It would also require the Department of Education to encourage schools to distribute this information to pupils, and monitor evolving guidelines while updating best practices information as appropriate.
“Many children have suffered both physically and mentally from the lack of activity they are getting due to the pandemic,” said Assemblymember Maienschein. “I am pleased that my bill helps California’s youth return to physical activity, informed and safe.”
“Youth who were symptomatic or diagnosed with COVID should consult their medical practitioner before returning to exercise or physical activity. In our ongoing mission to prevent sudden cardiac arrest in youth, we are grateful to Assemblymember Maienschein for his continuing efforts to protect young hearts,” said Maureen Legg, Co-Executive Director of the Eric Paredes Save A Life Foundation, sponsor of AB 856.