Youth Sport Safety

Health and Safety Policy Ranking for High School Athletics

Samantha Scarneo, MS, ATC

Director of Sport Safety

On Tuesday, August 8th, the Korey Stringer Institute held a press conference for the release of the Health and Safety Policy Ranking for High School Athletics. The goal of this project was to review publically available information from high school associations and state legislation to determine how states are mandating safety standards for their athletes. A positive finding from this study is every state, including the District of Columbia, has some type of health and safety policy requirement for their high schools to follow. However, not a single state meets all of the minimum best practice requirements for the areas focused on in this project; which happen to be the top causes of sudden death in sport, accounting for over 90% of sport-related deaths.

 

North Carolina is leading the way scoring a 79%, followed by Kentucky (71.13%) and Massachusetts (67.4%). KSI was honored to have Mr. Bob Gfeller, Mr. David Csillan, and Dr. Morgan Anderson as well as Dr. Douglas Casa and Dr. William Adams, speak at the press conference. Dr. Adams began the press conference stating the methods used for this project, which included accessing publically available information from state high school associations and legislation. Dr. Casa followed up with information pertaining to the results of the study. Csillan, athletic trainer from New Jersey, provided comments about his continued advocacy for New Jersey to implement best practice standards statewide. Mr. Gfeller spoke on the importance of implementing policies to ensure that no parents need to go through the tragic loss of a child. Dr. Morgan Anderson echoed these comments by stating “We have tragic examples from the past that motivates us daily to make a change.”

The Orthopedic Journal of Sports Medicine will publish the study with these findings in the September issue. The accepted version of the PDF can be found here.

Change is difficult. There may be states who are not thrilled with these published findings, too. However, these data are the reality of current health and safety policies in high school athletics. This report is dedicated to the parents who have lost, or those parents who have their sons and daughters participating in sport, and it can be the conduit in making sure that your children’s safety are accounted for by the governing organizations. I urge you all to contact your state high school association leaders and legislators to find out if they are 1) aware of where they stand in the ranking and 2) their plans forward for improvement.

Collaborative Solutions for Safety in Florida High School Sports

William Adams, PhD, LAT, ATC

 

On March 9-10, 2017, Drs. Douglas Casa, PhD, ATC, FACSM, FNATA, FNAK and William Adams, PhD, ATC along with KSI staff member Courteney Benjamin, MS, CSCS traveled to the University of Florida to attend their Collaborative Solutions for Safety in Florida High School Sports meeting. Organized by the University of Florida and the Florida Association of Sports Medicine, the aim of the meeting was to begin the steps of health and safety policies for the Florida’s high school student-athletes.

 

The meeting was attended by representatives from various regions within the state of Florida and included sports medicine physicians, athletic trainers, high school administrators, coaches and the Florida High School Athletics Association. Dr. Casa spoke on the importance of implementing evidence-based best practice policies focused on the leading causes of death in sport and provided numerous case examples as to how these policies have been effective at reducing the number of sport-related deaths. Dr. Adams followed by discussing the current standing of health and safety policies mandated for high school athletics in Florida.

 

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Following these initial talks, the rest of the meeting consisted of various break out sessions specifically designed to stimulate discussion amongst the group and discuss strategies for how to implement changes to current policies related to emergency action plans, environmental monitoring and activity modification guidelines, concussion, AEDs and coaching education. Discussing the current barriers for implementing the aforementioned policies and strategies to overcome these barriers with the attendees, who many are the state leaders in their respective professions, allowed everyone in the room to participate to assist in developing a plan going forward to present to the Florida High School Athletics Association to further protect their student-athletes.

 

Overall, this meeting was a tremendous success and we are truly thankful for the University of Florida and FASmed for organizing this meeting and for the University of Florida for hosting the meeting at their facilities.  Having a group of highly motivated individuals from across the state of Florida come together to discuss how they can improve high school student-athlete health and safety is a model example of ways other states can have similar successes. The coordinated efforts of sports medicine professionals, high school and state high school athletics association administrators and coaches is instrumental for preventing sudden death in our young athletes who have a full life to live in front of them.

 

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2017 Youth Sport Safety Governing Bodies Meeting

Samantha Scarneo, MS, ATC, Director of Sport Safety

Screen Shot 2017-02-26 at 6.48.14 PMFour years ago, Dr. Casa had a vision to bring together the representatives responsible for safety initiatives for the leading national governing bodies (NGBs) of youth sports and educate them on how to make their sport safer. This past week, the four-year effort concluded with a meeting at the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) headquarters in Carrollton, TX. We have accomplished an astonishing amount over the past three years. In 2015, the 1st Youth Sport Safety Governing Bodies (YSSGB) Meeting was convened by the Korey Stringer Institute and hosted by the National Football League in New York, NY. The goal of this inaugural meeting was to educate the NGB attendees on the top causes of sudden death in sport and to learn what various NGBs have done up to this point to improve youth athlete safety. From this meeting, we were able to leave with a better understanding of the inner-workings of the NGBs; we also learned that it was extremely difficult for NGBs to provide any type of mandate or requirement because they do not have a structure to govern and oversee mandates outside of sport rules. From there, we knew we needed to create a document that outlines what the best practice recommendations should be for youth organizations.

Several position statements, consensus statements, inter-association task force documents, and research articles have been published by professional organizations. However, these documents have had a focus on the high school and older athlete, leaving paucity in the literature as to best practice recommendations for the youth athlete. The 2nd YSSGB meeting led by the Korey Stringer Institute and the National Athletic Trainers’ Association in 2016 focused on creation of a document and aimed to get feedback from the NGBs on what should be included in a best practice document. The outcome from this meeting includes a document to serve as the first of its kind to guide recommendations for improving sport safety for the youth athlete.

 

It was also in the 2016 meeting that the leaders in the NGBs requested to KSI and NATA that we convene to discuss how to continue efforts to make youth sport safer. Which led to our objective for the 2017 YSSGB meeting to discuss the potential tasks that should be addressed for future efforts and again lead by the NATA and KSI.

 

This year’s attendees included a mix of both new faces and veterans to the meeting:

 

US All Star Federation USA Lacrosse
USA Baseball US Soccer
USA Basketball USA Football
USA Track and Field USA Wrestling
USA Gymnastics USA Hockey
American Academy of Pediatrics American Medical Society for Sports Medicine
Korey Stringer Institute National Athletic Trainers Association
Safe Kids World Wide

 

At the meeting, we discussed strengths, areas for improvement, facilitators and barriers for promoting safety initiatives within their own organizations. We had veteran NGBs that discussed their successes and struggles in spearheading the youth sport safety initiatives, while other NGBs that are relatively new shared their recent achievement in mandating the background checks for their coaches, which is also an important topic to be addressed by the NGBs to ensure youth athlete safety. Every representative from the NGBs believed that they could continue to learn from this collaborative effort and were  hopeful for future meetings to continue their discussions in keeping their youth athletes safe.

 

I would be remiss if I did not conclude with a heart-felt thank you to the NATA for their extremely warm welcome to their facilities and for their sponsorship of the meeting. Specifically, to Katie Scott, MS, ATC, Athletic Trainer in Residence at the NATA, for all of her time and effort into the creation of this meeting during the past two years, and for her continued commitment, dedication, and passion for improving the profession of athletic training and sport safety for all athletes. I would also like to thank the NATA Foundation for hosting our dinner on Thursday night, and to Camelback and Jones and Bartlett for donating their products.

 

As I have concluded this blog post the past two years, If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”—Unknown.

NFL AT Pilot Grant Program

By Yuri Hosokawa, MAT, ATC, Director of Communication, Director of Education

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Korey Stringer Institute at the University of Connecticut is proud to announce our role in the NFL Athletic Trainer Grant Pilot Program, which is open for applications from October 19, 2016 through December 16, 2016.

 

As part of the Play Smart. Play Safe. campaign the NFL pledged on September 14, 2016, the NFL is heading up a pilot grant program in four states – Arizona, Illinois, Oklahoma and Oregon.  Up to 150 public high schools across the four pilot states will be awarded a $35,000 grant over the course of a 3-year period to assist with securing athletic trainer (AT) services.

 

School administrators, or their designee, may apply if their school meets the following criteria:

  • A public high school with an interscholastic football program in Arizona, Illinois, Oklahoma or Oregon.
  • Minimal or no current athletic training program. Minimal is defined as care provided by an athletic trainer only for football games or competitions played at home.

 

As NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stated in his letter, “… we know that having an athletic trainer on the sidelines at a high school game can be pivotal for how health and safety issues are handled. But many of our nation’s schools lack the resources to pay for one. Accordingly, we plan to expand the size of our athletic trainer program, funding additional athletic trainers for high schools that need them. Our long-term goal is to raise awareness about the important role athletic trainers can play in high school athletics.”

 

KSI will lead the administration of the NFL Athletic Trainer Pilot Grant Program as well as conduct research on the program’s impact, specifically the impact of athletic trainers on student athlete health outcomes. We hope that by bringing our expertise to this program, we can assist not only the schools who may hire ATs for the first time in their school history, but also to serve as the support system for the ATs who are accepting jobs in these schools in order to develop successful and sustainable athletic training programs across the nation.

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To find out more about the pilot grant program, visit: www.athletictrainergrant.com.

#AT4ALL

2nd Collaborative Solutions for Safety in Sport

By Alicia Pike, Assistant Director of Youth Sport Safety 

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National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) President, Scott Sailor, kicked off the 2nd Collaborative Solutions for Safety in Sport (CSSS) Meeting with a powerful statement. “Nearly all deaths and serious injuries can be avoided when proper steps are taken.” A continuation of last year’s inaugural meeting in New York City, the NATA and American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM), with assistance from the Korey Stringer Institute, brought together each state’s High School Athletic Association Executive Director and Sports Medicine Advisory Committee Chair for the second year in a row to discuss proactive policy changes and states’ progress on various health and safety initiatives at the secondary school level.

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On March 22, 2016, Dr. Brian Hainline, Chief Medical Officer of the NCAA, opened the meeting with the keynote address, speaking on the challenges of change. A session followed titled, “Where are we now?” facilitated by Douglas Casa, Robert Huggins, Larry Cooper and Thomas Dompier. This session focused on progress made in policy change, athletic training coverage across the nation, proper injury prevention strategies specific to Heads-Up Football, and an overview of data from the Datalys Center for Sports Injury Research and Prevention. The meeting portion of day one concluded with small group breakout sessions, quite valuable for those in attendance, as they spoke candidly with one another about successes and barriers pertaining to sport safety policy implementation.

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Day two began with a keynote address from Martha Lopez-Anderson, Chair of the Board of Directors for Parent Heart Watch. Turning tragedy into triumph, Martha shared her heartbreaking personal story that led to her involvement in this organization, and advocated for the implementation of prevention strategies for sudden cardiac arrest in the youth population, including placing AED’s in all locations, cardiac screening, and getting appropriate personnel trained in CPR/AED use. Following her keynote, a session dedicated to mental health issues in student-athletes ensued. Although not directly in the spotlight, mental health is a true problem. Dr. Brian Hainline stressed the importance of having an emergency action plan in place for mental health issues, similar to the ones implemented to manage various incidents such as cervical spine or head injuries. Alongside Dr. Hainline, John Reynolds, Dr. Cindy Chang, and Dr. Francis O’Connor also facilitated this session. From sharing success stories on the promotion of mental wellness in a school district, to discussions on the prevalence and consequences of disordered eating and performance-enhancing drug use, attendees were informed of proper strategies to take in limiting and managing mental health issues in student-athletes.

Taking a different approach this year, attendees were allowed to choose from three different breakout sessions, providing opportunities to promote discussion in small groups about personal experiences, struggles, and successes with cardiac and heat policy implementation, and employing athletic trainers in secondary schools. This created an environment of close collaboration, with states getting feedback for themselves while simultaneously helping each other. NATA President, Scott Sailor, said it best. “With your [attendees] collaborative support we will make a difference. We will save lives, reduce injuries, and create a playing environment that ensures health and safety first.” It was another incredibly successful CSSS Meeting, and we anticipate the next to result in even greater strides towards improving sport safety in the secondary school setting.

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Athletic Trainers in the Secondary School Setting

By Rachel VanScoy, Assistant Director of Sports Safety Policies

#AT4ALL Value Model

Athletic Trainers are health care professionals who work under the direction of a licensed physician and who specialize in the prevention, recognition, emergency care, treatment, and rehabilitation of sports related injuries. A recent study reported that only 37% of high schools in the United States provide full-time athletic training services.1 Seventy of the public secondary schools acknowledge the importance of athletic training services and provide some level of medical coverage.1 With the increasing number of sports participation and sports related injuries in the high school setting, it is essential that appropriate medical coverage is available. It is important to understand what services and coverage athletic trainers’ provide.

Athletic trainers do not just provide “coverage” during sporting events but provide quality health care to active individuals on and off the field. During emergencies, athletic trainers are onsite to provide immediate care to potentially life-threatening conditions and are trained to provide prompt treatment to help prevent sudden death (i.e., sudden cardiac arrest, exertional heat stroke). Furthermore, athletic trainers provide a link of communication between physicians, coaches, parents, and school nurses. Care of an athlete not only includes physical care but also psychosocial care. A safe environment is created which can result in an athlete confiding in the athletic trainer. Athlete trainers are trained to recognize potential problems (i.e., eating disorders) and can refer to the appropriate medical or professional services.

Additionally, athletic trainers work towards the prevention of injuries and sudden death. Before participation, athletes are screened using medical questionaries’ and preparticipation physical examinations. Athletic trainers are trained to identify potential risk factors and can make appropriate referrals for further screening. The preparticipation screening also allows athletic trainers to identify at risk individuals (i.e., Sickle cell trait, asthma, diabetes). Risk mitigation can be accomplished though educating parents, coaches, athletes, and administrators, as well as, through injury prevention programs. Off the field athletic trainers develop, practice and implement Emergency Action Plans (EAPS) and Policy, and Procedure manuals. A few examples of the policies that athletic trainers develop are heat acclimatization, concussion, lightning, hydration, and environmental (i.e., cold and hot weather) policies. Athletic trainers are responsible for ensuring policies are implemented and followed.

Athletic trainers provide on and off field services to continually maintain health and safety in sports. Described above are just a few of the many services athletic trainers provide at the high school level. For more information, visit the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) webpage for the Secondary School Setting.

 

References

  1. Pryor RR, Casa DJ, Vandermark LW, et al. Athletic Training Services in Public Secondary Schools: A Benchmark Study. Journal of Athletic Training. 2015;50(2):156-162. doi:10.4085/1062-6050-50.2.03.

 

Youth Sport Safety Governing Bodies Meeting

By Samantha Scarneo, MS, ATC, Director of Youth Sport Safety

2016 YSSGB Meeting Photo

Last week, KSI had the honor of hosting the second annual Youth Sport Safety Governing Bodies meeting with the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, Jones & Bartlett Learning, and Kestrel, at the National Football League Headquarters, in New York, NY. The goal of this meeting was to improve health and safety standards at the youth sport level. In last years’ meeting the goal was to educate the youth sport governing bodies on top causes of sudden death in sport This years goal was to create a consensus document to serve as a best practices document for all governing bodies and its members to strive towards. This consensus document touches on the top causes of sudden death in sport and polices & procedures of how to improve these safety standards. The attendees of this years meeting included:

Michael Clayton – USA Wrestling

George Chiampas, DO – US Soccer

Elizabeth Chaffin, DPT, ATC and Alexis Colvin, MD– USTA

Lynn Moskovitz-Thompson – USA Gymnastics

Bruce Griffin, PhD – US Lacrosse

Kevin Margarucci, ATC – USA Hockey

Steve Alic – USA Football

Jack Ransone, Phd, ATC – USA Track and Field.

We also had the honor of having key representatives from the American Medical Society of Sports Medicine (Matthew Gammons, MD), National Athletic Trainers Association (Scott Sailor EdD, ATC, Tim Weston Med, ATC, AJ Duffy MS, ATC, PT, Rachael Oats CAE, Katie Scott, MS, ATC), American Academy of Pediatrics (Cynthia LaBella, MD) and Safe Kids Worldwide (Kate Carr, Ali Flury).

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The meeting was moderated by some of the KSI staff (including Robert Huggins, PhD, ATC, Doug Casa, PhD, ATC, Rebecca Stearns, PhD, ATC, Samm Scarneo, MS, ATC, Yuri Hosokawa, MAT, ATC, Lesley Vandermark, MS, ATC, Luke Belval, BS, ATC, and Ryan Curtis, MS, ATC) and was largely discussion based to create a best practice consensus. The first day of the meeting focused on cardiac conditions, emergency action plans, and exertional heat stroke. The second day was moderated identical to the first and focused on head injuries, medical personnel and other conditions (asthma, anaphylaxis, and lightning).

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One of the unique aspects of this meeting is that all of the governing bodies have strong and weak points in different areas. For example, one organization may have extraordinary policies in place for heat acclimatization yet may be very weak in an area of emergency action plans. However, despite the various levels of safety attained by each organization, all attendees had a strong will to improve standards across the board. Dr. Huggins called this meeting “one of the most important meetings that he has been to in his career.” We are hopeful that consensus document will provide a template for all leaders of youth organizations, and their members, to expand health and safety standards for the athletes.

“If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.”

 

Inaugural Collaborative Solutions for Safety in Sport Meeting

CSSS 2015
CSSS 2015

By Alicia Pike, Assistant Director of Youth Sport Safety 

On March 26th and 27th, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) and American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) in conjunction with the Korey Stringer Institute (KSI) and the National Football League (NFL) hosted the very first “Collaborative Solutions for Safety in Sport” meeting at the NFL Headquarters in New York, NY. This meeting was made possible by the lead sponsors, NATA and AMSSM. Corporate sponsorship was provided by MISSION AthletecareJones & Bartlett LearningPRIVIT, and Camelback, and supported by KSI and NFL organizations.

We know from years of research that many of the deaths that occur in sport are preventable if best practices for prevention and management are in place. Therefore, the goal of this meeting was to bring together the state high school association leaders and sports medicine advisory committee members and the National Federation of State High School Associations to discuss development and implementation of best practice policies for safety in sport. We are excited to have had representation from all 50 states in one room for this meeting, and provided opportunities for key decision-makers to review and enhance safety policies currently in place in their respective states to reduce risk of sudden death in high school sports.

Chris Valletta, co-founder of MISSION Athletecare kicked off the meeting with the keynote. The remainder of this first day involved emphasis on best practices and policy implementation for heat-related illness and cardiac events. Dr. Douglas Casa, Chief Operating Officer of KSI, spoke about the importance of policies including heat acclimatization and wet-bulb globe temperature monitoring that should be in place at every high school, as well as proper recognition (via a rectal thermometer) and treatment (ice water immersion bath) of heat-related illnesses. Regarding cardiac events, Dr. Jonathan Drezner, team physician for the University of Washington and Seattle Seahawks, spoke about the absolute necessity of having AED’s readily available at all high schools and competition/practice locations, as well as the importance of regularly practicing emergency action plans and performing monthly checks of AED batteries and pads to ensure they are ready to use in case of an emergency cardiac situation.

The second day began with a keynote address from Dr. Brian Hainline, Chief Medical Officer of the NCAA. Following his speech, Ron Courson, Athletic Director of Sports Medicine at the University of Georgia spoke about emergency action plans and when properly implemented, practiced, and executed, can ultimately save the life of an athlete. To close out the meeting, Dr. Kevin Guskiewicz, Director of the Matthew Gfeller Sport-Related Traumatic Brain Injury Research Center in UNC Chapel Hill, spoke about head injuries, including concussions, and the policies that should be in place at every school to protect the health and safety of the student-athletes. Guskiewicz brought home the idea that “This is not an injury that can be managed by a clock, calendar, or cookbook.” Head injuries should be treated on an individual basis, and policies need to be implemented to ensure the athlete is not returning to sport before he/she is physically and cognitively ready.

The meeting was an absolute success for being the first time in history that the key people from each state were together in one room for the same initiative. Great questions, comments, success stories, as well as struggles were brought up from those in attendance. We each face challenges regarding policy development and implementation, but this could be achieved more quickly if we collaborate and work together. With this meeting, the NATA, AMSSM, KSI, and NFL hope to have instilled in the attendees the knowledge and materials the attendees need to return to their respective states and make change happen; change that will follow best practices, change that will ensure athletes are getting the absolute best medical care they deserve, and change that can save a life. “A 2 millimeter difference can make a mile change.” Are you prepared? Do more than care. Think. Act. Make a change. Save a life.

For more resources and information that were shared at the meeting, please visit: www.SolutionsForAthleteCare.org

KSI Staff at CSSS 2015

Media Alert: Collaborative Solutions for Safety in Sport

CSSS

MEDIA ALERT:

COLLABORATIVE SOLUTIONS FOR SAFETY IN SPORT:

A Call to Action to Ensure Best Practices and Protocols in High Schools Are in Place

Thursday, March 26, 2015

9:30 a.m. eastern time

NFL Headquarters, 345 Park Avenue, New York City 

 

 

In 2014, more than 15 high school athletes lost their lives during sports or physical activity. Thousands of student athletes develop acute and long-term injuries as a result of participation. Research shows that many of these deaths and conditions could be avoided if best practices were in place.

Please join the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) and American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) for a national press conference where sports medicine leaders will discuss and unveil efforts to promote current health and safety protocols. The goal is to develop a collaborative forum to share resources, tools, best practices and strategies designed to advance the safety of student athletes in secondary schools with a focus on emergency action plans (EAPs).

Speakers will address heat-related illnesses, cardiac conditions, head and neck injuries and the need for EAPS in all high schools. While there have been advances in protocol (all states now have concussion laws in place), only 22 percent of states have met the recommendations that every school or organization sponsoring athletics develop an EAP for managing serious and or potentially life-threatening injuries. An editorial on emergency practice guidelines in high school sports will be published that morning in the April Journal of Athletic Training, NATA’s scientific publication.

For the first time ever, and following the press conference, NATA and AMSSM with the support of the Korey Stringer Institute and the NFL, will bring together key stakeholders in high school athletics to discuss these initiatives and improve safety in youth sports. Leaders from all 50 states will be in attendance at the meeting.

Key statistics:

  • Emergency Action Plans: 12 percent of states meet the recommendations that every school has a written Emergency Action Plan that is distributed to all staff members10 percent of states fulfill the recommendation that the EAP is specific to each venue and includes maps and/or specific directions to that venue.
  • Heat Acclimatization Guidelines: 14 of the 50 states currently meet the minimum best practices with regard to heat acclimatization. An estimated 28 percent of states meet the recommendation that total practice time should not exceed three hours in any one day.
  • Automated External Defibrillators: Only 50 percent of states have met the recommendations that all athletic trainers, coaches, administrators, school nurses and physical education teachers have access to an AED on school property and at all school sanctioned athletic events/activities.

 

Speakers:

Douglas Casa, PhD, ATC, FNATA, chief operating officer, Korey Stringer Institute, University of Connecticut: Exertional Heat Stroke

Jason Cates, ATC, LAT, member, Arkansas Activities Association Sports Medicine Advisory Committee; head athletic trainer, Cabot Public Schools; past president, Arkansas Athletic Trainers’ Association: Advancements in Arkansas Youth Sport Safety State Policies and Guidelines

Jonathan Drezner, MD, professor of family medicine; director of the Center for Sports Cardiology; team physician, University of Washington and Seattle Seahawks: Cardiac Conditions

Kevin Guskiewicz, PhD, ATCFNATA, Kenan Distinguished Professor and director of the Matthew Gfeller Sport-Related Traumatic Brain Injury Research Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill: Head and Neck Injuries

Roman Oben, director, youth and high school football, National Football League; former NFL player: Playing it Safe with Best Practices in Place

  

CONTACT: Media interested in attending should contact Robin Waxenberg by March 24, 212/489-8006, robin@robwax.com

 

About NATA: National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) – Health Care for Life & Sport

Athletic trainers are health care professionals who specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries and sport-related illnesses. They prevent and treat chronic musculoskeletal injuries from sports, physical and occupational activity, and provide care for acute injuries. Athletic trainers offer a continuum of care that is unparalleled in health care. The National Athletic Trainers’ Association represents and supports 39,000 members of the athletic training profession. Visit www.nata.org                                                                                                                                                             

About AMSSM: American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) is a multi-disciplinary organization of 2,700 sports medicine physicians dedicated to education, research, advocacy and the care of athletes of all ages. The majority of AMSSM members are primary care physicians with fellowship training and added qualification in sports medicine who then combine their practice of sports medicine with their primary specialty. AMSSM includes members who specialize solely in non-surgical sports medicine and serve as team physicians at the youth level, NCAA, NFL, MLB, NBA, WNBA, MLS and NHL, as well as with Olympic teams. By nature of their training and experience, sports medicine physicians are ideally suited to provide comprehensive medical care for athletes, sports teams or active individuals who are simply looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Visit www.amssm.org

Youth Sport Safety Summit Recap

By Samantha Scarneo, Director of Youth Sports Safety

On Monday March 2, 2015, Samm Scarneo, director of youth sport safety, attended the 6th annual Youth Sport Safety summit in Dallas, TX. Presently, the Youth Sport Safety Alliance has 206 members. The overall arching mission of the youth sport safety alliance is to collectively recognize and make an effort to improve youth sport safety. This year’s conference featured a talk from Dr. James Andrew’s as the keynote speaker. Dr. Andrew’s talk circulated around many aspects of youth safety but in particular ulnar collateral ligament, or tommy john ligament, surgery in youth athletes. Dr. Andrew’s specified youth athletes should not be throwing until fatigue and that typically true UCL injuries in the youth population are few and far between. The significant increase in the prevalence of tommy john surgery in youth athletes has been, in his opinion, unnecessary surgeries. Additionally, Dr. Andrews stressed the importance of athletic trainers at all youth sporting events and that proper recognition and treatment of athletic injuries is a key aspect to improved safety of our youth athletes. This message was echoed by all presenters within the conference; the importance of proper medical care and the constant communication of the athletic medical team – from the athletic trainers, to team physicians, parents, administrators, nurses, nutritionists, and EMS alike. Dr. Dawn Comstock also presented recent high school injury rates from the high school RIO prospective study. This study utilizes an online program where certified athletic trainers log into the system and report on injuries including athlete exposure data. Recent research has identified that although the overall rate of injuries in competition is high, that more than half of the injuries sustained by our athletes occur in practice. Additionally, the recent research shows that of all the medical disqualification injuries for a season or a career are often due to a knee injury, with 31.3% of DQs resulting from a knee injury. An interesting finding when evaluating girls and boys lacrosse is that although the rates of concussions are similar, boys lacrosse concussion injuries primarily result from a player-to-player contact whereas girls lacrosse injuries occur primarily from a player-to-apparatus mechanism. Dr. Comstock attributed this increase in girl’s lacrosse from playing apparatus as a possible result from no type of head gear as the girls only wear eye protection and no hard-helmet protection.

Increasing youth sport safety is one of the most important factors facing today’s generation. Together we have the ability to improve the safety and wellness for our youth athletes. As the director of youth sport safety for the Korey Stringer Institute, I am proud to say that improved safety for all athletes is a goal we work towards every day. Here at KSI, we are fortunate to have a strong team of invested, passionate, and relentless individuals who everyday strive to improve safety for all athletes regardless of age, and I have to say I am thrilled to be working with each and every one of them.

For those of you who are religious in reading our posts – which is so awesome – you may remember my quote from the January meeting, and that quote will stick true again for this meeting, and I am sure for most of my future posts J

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”

Best,

Samm