As a dedicated public servant, you understand the vast importance of serving your constituents and protecting your community. Did you know that your influence as a legislator could radically improve the safety and well-being of student athletes across our country? It could.
High school athletics offer a wealth of benefits to our students, our schools and our communities. Studies indicate that student athletes are less likely to drop out of high school, more likely to attend college, less likely to have heart disease and more likely to succeed in their careers. They are less prone to smoking, drug abuse or carrying weapons to school. And they are, all in all, more likely to produce good grades.
But high school athletics can also contribute to negative outcomes such as physical injuries, concussions, dehydration and heat stroke. This is where we need your help.
NAVIGATING THE RISKS OF HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
Today, the secondary school athletic population leads the nation in sports-related deaths.60-65 15- to 17-year-olds experience the highest rate of sports-related emergency room visits.5 Among high school athletes, concussion rates have steadily increased in the past decade.27 Sports-related injury also has an economic impact. If student athletes miss school due to an injury, there is a risk in decreased funding from the state due to absenteeism.
As concerns grow over the number of injuries sustained in school-sponsored sporting events and practices, legislators must do their part to support bills and draft new legislation to provide a higher standard of injury prevention and medical care for our student athletes.
A WAY TO REDUCE YOUR SCHOOL’s RISKS
By adding athletic trainers to your communities’ high schools, you can help protect student athletes from many sports-sustained injuries and the lawsuits that often come with them. Athletic trainers are equipped to provide student athletes a multitude of services.
Athletic trainers provide medical care and supervision during games and practice, and develop injury prevention programs to keep athletes healthy and on the field. Additionally, athletic trainers are able to assist with injury prevention education during practice , one-on-one time with athletes and through regular communication with parents.
Be part of the change
RISK MITIGATION STATISTICS
- According to the CDC, many sports-related injuries are predictable and preventable. 66
- Prevention of injury is critical because previous history is often a risk factor for future injury. Players with one or more previous injuries have TWO OR THREE TIMES greater risk of incident injury compared to those without previous injury.7
- A study from the American Academy of Pediatrics showed that the presence of athletic trainers can have a significant positive impact on student athlete health, resulting in lower injury rates, improved diagnosis and return-to-play decisions for concussion and other injuries, and fewer recurrent injuries.111
- The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that an athletic trainer should be present at all football games and practices.93
- Athletes at secondary schools with proper medical teams that include an athletic trainer sustain a lower incidence of injuries (both acute and recurring) than athletes at schools without athletic trainers. Athletes at secondary schools with athletic trainers incur more diagnosed concussions, demonstrating better identification of these injuries.59
- According to the recent NFHS Recommendations and Guidelines for Minimizing Head Impact Exposure and Concussion Risk in Football, “an athletic trainer is a key component in any strategy to minimize injury risk and optimize safety for all participants.”