According to a report in U.S. News, 46.5 million children participate in sports across the U.S. each year. Of those children, every 25 seconds a child visits the emergency room for a sports-related injury.
Think this number is high? That may be because not every school has a certified athletic trainer on hand to determine the difference between a minor injury and a major one.
Nationally certified athletic trainers are highly trained and can recognize a broad spectrum of illnesses and injuries on the spot. They are fully trained to manage these injuries, which is what makes them so important to have on staff. Asthma, brain injuries, heat stroke, diabetes, and concussions are just a few conditions ATs are trained to recognize. The decision to send a child to the emergency room can be determined by an AT who knows the difference between a minor injury and a major condition. An athletic trainer can even spot and prevent potentially fatal situations.
Along with spotting and managing injuries, athletic trainers are also prepared to prevent them. Before a child participates in a sport, they ought to take the time to warm up. A proper warm up prepares the body for exercise and reduces the risk of injury. This warm up routine should be designed by an athletic trainer who is scientifically knowledgeable of how to create a warm up routine customized for each sport and each age group. A fifth-grade running team should not have the same warm up routine as a tenth-grade football team. A proper routine can diminish the risk of injury completely.
The American Medical Association has recommended since 1998 that an athletic trainer should be made available to all schools. His or her presence can not only prevent a trip to the emergency room, it can save a child’s life.