Athletic Trainers care about your child's safety!
They work as a team with coaches, administrators, other health care providers, and YOU to help keep your athlete safe!
Helmets and Concussion Headgear: Why they DON'T help prevent concussions.
Understanding the mechanism of how a concussion occurs is the most important part of understanding why a helmet, helmet cover, or headband will not prevent a concussion from occurring. Research has even suggested more "protection" can even increase the potential for concussion to occur as it offers a false sense of protection.
At Your Own Risk
"As a parent of a student athlete, you are already aware of the benefits of sports. Student athletes are generally more physically fit, more socially engaged and more committed to staying in school."
The National Athletic Trainers Association has this great resource on injury prevention specifically geared towards you as parents! It includes questions to ask your school administration, understanding the risks of sport injuries, and other great resources!
Emergency Action Plan: Does my child's school have one?
Every year there are 100-150 sudden cardiac deaths (SCD) in competitive sports in the US (American College of Cardiology, 2016) Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in athletes. Mortality rate without quick response is 96%. Each minute defibrillation is delayed, survival potential is decreased by 10%. Does your child's school or competitive team have an emergency action plan in place and rehearsed regularly to ensure quick response should an emergency occur?
Athletic trainers are educated in the most current healthcare guidelines pertaining to the health and safety of athletes. When your athlete is injured, an athletic trainer's goal is to return your athlete to the field in the most time-efficient and safe way possible. Athletes often require more specialized and advanced care than the general public in order to return to playing their sport at the top of their game. Here are some quick tips for parents to consider:
Be informed, rely on medical professionals for diagnosis and treatment of sport injuries; not everything you read on the internet is true.
There is a lot of misinformation in the media and news platforms about sports injuries, it is best to seek out an athletic trainer or other sports medicine trained medical professionals to receive the most up to date care. Cross-reference information you read on the internet with evidence-based research to ensure best treatment guidelines are followed.
Be suspicious of cure all drugs, diets/supplements, and concussion "prevention" equipment.
No medication, diet, or sport protective equipment will 100% prevent injuries or enhance performance. Athletic Trainers practice evidence-based medicine, meaning best practices in sports medicine are used to evaluate and treat injuries. It is important to understand some injuries will just take time and rehabilitation to heal.
Athletic trainers have a vast knowledge of sports medicine treatments and injury prevention strategies.
Athletic Trainers are trained in everything from orthopedics and concussion diagnosis/management to identifying skin infections and implementing injury prevention programs. They are a valuable resource, use them!
Your athletic trainer wants your child on the field just as much as you do!
Athletic trainers are an unbiased resource on the sideline to make the best return to play decisions for athletes. They may make a tough decision to sit out an athlete who is functionally unable to perform or potentially put themselves at more risk for injury, however they also will be there to help your athlete in during their recovery and return to play. It is a team approach!
Quick Links and Forms
Frequently Asked Questions
Does your child's school have an Emergency Action Plan specific to athletics?
This is a vital component to assure any emergency situation is handled quickly and efficiently and the injured child receives the best care. The school administration, staff, and coaches should hold practice sessions so everyone knows their job should an emergency arrive. This ensures each participant knows their job and the patient needing care receives it as soon as possible. For help with emergency action planning, click HERE.
Does your school have an AED available within 1-3 minutes of all sport competition/practice facilities?
For every minute defibrillation is delayed, chance of survival goes down by 10%. Chances of surviving a Sudden Cardia Arrest event is 5%, this is increased to 48-75% if an AED is used in the first 3-5 minutes. Is there an AED accessible within this time frame at your child's practice or competition site? Check out Project S.A.V.E (https://www.choa.org/medical-services/cardiac-care/project-save-program) and watch Claire's Story on why having an Emergency Action Plan and close proximity of an AED is important:
Is your child's coach CPR/AED/First Aid Certified?
Would you let your kids go to the pool without a lifeguard? Why allow them to play a sport where their coach is not CPR/First Aid/AED certified and/or no Athletic Trainer present? The Red Cross and the American Heart Association both offer a variety of courses to become certified in CPR/AED. Check out suggestions for AED use from the Korey Stringer Institute HERE.
When can my child safely specialize in a sport?
The best way to avoid chronic overuse injuries is by being a multi-sport athlete, avoiding early sport specialization and participating in more than one sport per season. Youth athletes are not small adults, they should explore a variety of sports to be able to choose what sport they would like to specialize in when they are physically, mentally, and emotionally mature. Read more about this topic HERE.
What can I do to help my child stay healthy and avoid injury?
Have them take at least 1 day off per week from practices, sport-specific training or conditioning, and competitions or organized sports.
Compete in only one sport during a season at a time. Avoid competing on multiple teams of different sports that would involve more than 5 days per week of participation.
Attend pre-season and inseason conditioning that focuses on injury prevention.
Take at least 3 months off (not necessarily in a row) from competing in organized sports per year
Do not specialize in a single sport until middle or late adolescents
The total hours of organized sports per week should be less than twice the number of hours playing sports just for fun (example: an athlete who does organized soccer for 10 hours in during the week and has 6 hours of "free play" during the week by playing volleyball at recess and basketball with classmates after school)
The total hours of organized sports per week should be less than or equal to a child's age in years
(Injury Prevention in Youth Athletes, Jayanthi & Dugas, Strength and Conditioning Journal 2017, NSCA)