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Publisher Description

During the 2009-2010 academic year, more than 7.5 million high school athletes participated in interscholastic athletics. (1) Participation in interscholastic sports can increase the risk of sustaining musculoskeletal injuries. (2,3) Powell and Barber-Foss (4) reported that an estimated 6 million high school students from approximately 20000 schools are injured in local sports programs each year. (5) According to data compiled by the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA), an estimated 1.3 million US high school athletes are injured each year. (6,7) Football has the highest injury rate among interscholastic sports. (8) Regarding medical coverage in high school sports, medical organizations have recommended that administrators, parents, and community leaders explore every opportunity to make interscholastic athletic programs safer for participation. Improvement in health care delivery to interscholastic athletes could include athletic site readiness or the presence of an athletic trainer (AT) at both practice and competitive events. The American Academy of Family Physicians "encourages high schools to have, whenever possible, a Board of Certifi [sic] Association (NATA)--certified or registered/licensed athletic trainer as an integral part of the high school athletic program." (9) (Note: The Board of Certification, not the National Athletic Trainers' Association, certifies athletic trainers.) Lyznicki et al (10) reported the placement of ATs in the interscholastic setting. Miller (11) noted that some schools react to catastrophic injury or illness by hiring an AT to reduce or prevent injuries in interscholastic athletes. No follow-up data have shown that this is a positive outcome. Therefore, the purpose of our study was to determine the overall level of medical services provided for secondary school--aged athletes at high school athletic events in a rural southern state, to evaluate the employment of ATs in the provision of medical services in secondary schools, and to compare athletic training medical services provided at athletic events at schools of various sizes. We wanted to know whether differences exist in the degree of adequacy among the 4 major areas specified by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) (organization, administration, and staffing; facilities and equipment; event coverage; and education) based on school size.

Sports & Outdoors
January 1
National Athletic Trainers' Association, Inc.

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