|INDIANAPOLIS, March 22, 2016 – In 2015 alone, 50 high school athletes’ lives were lost during sport or physical activity while thousands of others have long-term complications resulting from athletic injuries. The second annual Collaborative Solutions for Safety in Sport press event, hosted by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) and American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM), addressed these concerns by sharing best practices and encouraging improvement in safety protocols. The event took place at NCAA headquarters.
Sports medicine leaders presented new research, recent successes and challenges pertinent to sports health. A new study, “Implementing Health and Safety Policy Changes at the High School Level from a Leadership Perspective,” and an accompanying commentary, “Sport Safety Policy Changes: Saving Lives and Protecting Athletes,” was advanced released and will be published in the April issue of the Journal of Athletic Training.
Following the press conference, NATA and AMSSM with the support of Gatorade, Korey Stringer Institute, NCAA, National Federation of State High School Associations and Sanford Health brought together sports medicine and high school sports representatives in secondary school athletics. For the second year in a row, representatives from all 50 states attended to discuss safety in youth sports during an intensive two-day meeting.
“The National Athletic Trainers’ Association has had a longstanding commitment to the health and welfare of student athletes,” Scott Sailor, EdD, ATC, NATA president said. “We remain steadfast in our support of safety protocols along with AMSSM and collectively encourage the establishment of best practices and the appropriate sports medicine professionals on the field for both games and practices to ensure the gold standard of care.”
Currently, only 37% of high schools across the country have full-time athletic trainers who play a vital role in keeping young athletes safe.
“The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine is proud to continue its support of this program in conjunction with NATA,” Jon Divine, MD, MS, AMSSM president said. “This forum allows us to share resources, tools, sports safety protocols and strategies designed to keep young athletes thriving on the field and off the sidelines. Their health and welfare is our primary concern.”
“Today’s program provides us with new insights on successes and challenges for us to discuss and address when shaping state high school sports safety programs,” said Sailor. “Improving and implementing the right policies and putting them into action will help reduce injury and catastrophic outcomes.”
“Our approach to high school student athlete health and welfare requires a collaborative effort. We are inspired by the outcome of today’s forum and encourage all of those in attendance and those who can influence the lives of young athletes to use this information in the sports seasons ahead. We all individually and as a group have a vital role in ensuring youth sports safety in the year ahead,” added Divine.
Source: Advance Healthcare Network