With all the attention on national rules to prevent and properly treat injuries to professional and college athletes, it may surprise you to learn that there are no nationwide guidelines to protect high school athletes from crippling or fatal injuries.
Instead, it is up to individual states and the schools within them to adopt policies and practices that help to assure the safety of children who play organized school or league sports. But most states and schools have yet to enact needed safety measures, according to data from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association.
“Each state has its own high school athletic association, and each policy has to be individually approved,” said Douglas Casa, an athletic trainer and chief executive of the University of Connecticut’s Korey Stringer Institute, named for the former National Football League player who died from complications related to heatstroke in 2001.
“It’s a burdensome, grueling process,” Dr. Casa said, that he and others hope will yield to the efforts of a new program, the Collaborative Solutions for Safety in Sport created by the athletic trainers’ association and theAmerican Medical Society for Sports Medicine.
The program held its second meeting last month, attended by two high school representatives from each state, to provide them with road maps to establish safety rules and policies or laws for high school athletics