Not Funding Athletic Trainers = Bad Idea

If you have athletic trainers in place then you suddenly remove them it can create a disastrous situation for the school or district. Why? It is rather simple, the coaches, parents, kids and admins of the schools have become accustom to the nationally recognized allied health care provider being around for injury consultation, evaluations, and prevention measures including helping with conditioning. Not only that in the hot months of early football the athletic trainer is the neutral guardian against heat emergencies like heat stroke. The athletic trainer at high schools, especially those with collision sports, are necessary; not only for concussion but for all other injuries mainly the catastrophic type that occur everywhere on any given day. In essence the athletic trainer is akin to a lifeguard at a community pool.

Would you send your kids to a pool without a lifeguard?

By removing what has been used for some time, ALL of the burden will fall upon the school districts and coaches, certainly a liability that is not needed in this day and age.

This is happening – in an area that WAS ahead of the curve when it came to athletic trainers and high schools – Winston-Salem and Forsyth counties in North Carolina.

The certified athletic trainers assist coaches and players year-round at practice and games in evaluating injuries and working with their rehabilitation.

Considering that 4,231 high school students played in at least one sport in the 2011-12 academic year in Forsyth County schools, the program covered 27 percent of all students enrolled, according to school system data.

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In the category of NOT shocking; Catastrophic Brain Injuries Rising in Football

digtriad.com posted a story written by WFMY News 2 about the recent report from the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (NCCSIR);

Monday, researchers at UNC Chapel Hill said catastrophic brain injuries associated with full-contact football appear to be rising, especially among high school students.

They call the increase alarming and said it indicates that more coaches and athletic trainers should change how they teach the fundamental skills of the game.

Until recently, the number of football-related brain injuries with permanent disability in high school had remained in the single digits since 1984.

However, in 2008 and 2009 10 injuries were recorded and in 2011 there were 13 injuries recorded. That’s according to the latest catastrophic football injury research annual report from the UNC-based National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research.

To me it is a double-edged resource; on one hand it is good the “good ol’ boys” of the research world (aka those most listened to) have presented this material.  On the other hand we have published information about this research BEFORE its release recently with the tremendous work of/by Matt Chaney.

The full report from the NCCSIR can be found here, it chronicles the catastrophic injuries from 1977 – 2011.

However with the recent and VERY accurate listings from Chaney there seems to be a difference, which Chaney so eloquently put it in an email to me; Continue reading

NC Concussion Awareness Act

The Governor of North Carolina is expected to sign the Gfeller-Waller Concussion Awareness Act into law today.  Posted today in the News Observer online edition is the quick recap;

The act applies to public high schools and middle schools and requires them to provide education on concussion awareness to student athletes, parents, coaches, volunteers and first responders; requires players who exhibit signs of a concussion to be removed from play or practice and not return until being cleared by a medical professional; and requires schools to develop an emergency plan to deal with serious injuries.

The bill is named after two high school athletes who died as a result of concussions.

Matthew Gfeller was a sophomore at Winston-Salem Reynolds, and Jaquan Waller was a junior at Greenville Rose. They died as a result of concussions received while playing football.

This brings the total (that we have compiled) to 20 states with enacted legislation.  If you know of more please send it to us!