CHAPEL HILL, Texas (KLTV) - Last week, the U.I.L. started requiring physical exams for students in school marching bands across the state, and that new requirement has already proven successful.
“It potentially has saved our student’s life because now they have to go to their actual family doctor and get cleared at a different level,” Chapel Hill band director Joseph Hewitt says.
Two Chapel Hill students were diagnosed with a heart murmur during last week’s physical.
“No one knew, the parents didn’t know, even the students didn’t know and that kind of sent chills down our spine, and had us wondering what,” Hewitt says.
Hewitt says being a member of a high school band is the equivalent to being a high school athlete.
“Our heart rates are 140, there are heatstroke possibilities, all of those things we have to take into consideration,” Hewitt says.
“People don’t realize how much work we put into it,” Chapel Hill senior Glenn Smith says.
Some instruments weigh up to 40 pounds, at sizes as big as the students themselves.
The students were hooked to machines to test their heart rates and their blood pressure.
It was a simple examination that potentially saved students’ lives.
“It’s a good thing that we found this out now, rather than a football field or a game or a situation that’s a little more important,” Smith says.
Every band student in the state will be required to have taken a physical by August 1st, 2019.