Concussions in High School Sports

Posted by Marilyn Lash

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

This is the title of an excellent article by Dr. George Wham, Jr. in the Fall 2010 issue of Headlights!, the newsletter of the Brain Injury Association of South Carolina. His research team at the University of South Carolina surveyed all high schools in SC to examine the medical care provided in their athletic programs. They found that SC schools with access to athletic training services provided a significantly higher level of medical care than schools without them.

Athletic trainers are health care professionals who coordinate sports medicine services. They specialize in the prevention, evaluation, treatment and rehabilitation of athletic injuries. While athletic trainers are widespread among college sports programs and professional teams, he found that only about 60% of SC public schools have access to athletic trainers.

With concussion in high school sports receiving so much media attention and the growing recognition of the risks and consequences of concussions in student athletes, many states are passing legislation requiring athletic trainers be hired in local schools. However, many states are finding it hard to reconcile the additional expense of athletic trainers as they face budget cuts in their educational programs and staff.

We’d like to hear your thoughts about educating high school coaches about concussion and how schools can develop an effective concussion policy to protect its student athletes.

2 responses to “Concussions in High School Sports”

  1. Ron Savage says:

    Athletic Trainers are the key to effectively managing youth sports concussions in our schools. Their training, their relationship with their student-athletes, and their knowledge of concussion guidelines (“When in doubt, keep’em out”) will help schools manage a problem that has gone underrecognized for so many years. Quite simply, if it’s good enough for the Pro’s then it’s good enough for our kids.

  2. Phil Hossler, ATC- NATA Hall of Fame says:

    In today’s world and in light of recent revelations of the serioius, longterm effects associated with concussion, it is inconceivable that any school with an athletic program cannot have/afford the services of a certified athletic trainer.

    The educational value of an athletic trainer and school nurse on the lives of student-athletes cannot be overstated. Parents, coaches and athletes must now be smarter and more respectful of head trauma than any generation previously in our history.

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