Need for athletic trainers in high schools

CAITLYN ALLEN, Reporter

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 Athletes are mentally and physically determined to participate in their sport. They are always trying to get as much playing time as possible and play to their best ability. Schools say the safety of their students is the number one priority, but then why don’t all schools have athletic trainers for their athletics departments? 

     Studies done by the Korey Stringer Institute have shown that 34 percent of public and private schools in the United States have no access to athletic trainers. Another statistic shows that 47 percent of schools that do have access to athletic trainers only receive part-time. 

     Athletic trainers are responsible for evaluating injuries and provide emergency care when needed, develop rehabilitation plans and carry them out, create fitness programs and plans to avoid injuries, and keep records on injuries and treatment plans.  

     Parents send their kids to school hoping that they will be kept safe in every way possible. An article published by Zoya Gervis on New York Post shows that in a study of two thousand parents 48 percent admitted that they worry every day dropping their kid off to school that they will get hurt during extracurriculars.

     If parents are already stressed with their kids in school, they don’t need to be worried about their kids not getting the correct medical care too. With the same two thousand parents as before, 41 percent say they are worried their kids will come home with a broken or sprained limb. Accidents do happen and you cannot prevent every injury, but an athletic trainer would help limit this number. 

     Athletic trainers are typically the first line of defense when a student gets hurt. They can diagnose the right injuries and take the right course of action to what comes next, such as a trip to the emergency room. This can save parents a lot of time and money because they won’t have to make useless visits to doctors, they will have someone there that can help immediately or direct them in the right direction on where to go next.  

     Athletic trainers help parents save money in another way as well. Athletic trainers can create fitness programs that help students who are already injured, like physical therapy. Instead of going and paying hundreds of dollars for each individual appointment once a week at a physical therapy facility, students have access to an athletic trainer everyday for free at school. This will speed up recovery, save time and money for parents and students, and allow the student to still feel like they are a part of the team. 

     According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, high school athletes account for an estimated two million injuries, 500 thousand doctor visits, and 30 thousand hospitalizations each year. Two million injuries; how many more need to get hurt before we make a change? 

     Athletic trainers don’t just help with students who get injured unexpectedly, they also take care of students who are injured. They can help tape an ankle, wrap a body part, and even give ice after practice to help sore body parts. 

     Having no athletic trainers causes students to rely on their coaches or themselves to tape or wrap the body parts that hurt. Coaches and students don’t always know how to do this correctly, thus leading to more injuries. Athletic trainers however are certified and licensed in health care and sports medicine. 

     If we’re really worried about the safety of our students, we would think about all aspects of risk involving school and our students. With no athletic trainers, it shows schools are not concerned about athletes and their safety.