All across the state of Missouri this fall, athletic trainers and sports organizations are participating in the Safety in Football Campaign. ATs are providing their clinical skill and expertise each and every day to improve the overall health and safety of their athletes. According to a study conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the presence of athletic trainers in the secondary schools lowers overall injury rates, improves diagnosis and return‐to‐play decisions, and reduces the risk for recurrent injuries. In other words, Safety in Athletics begins with having an Athletic Trainer.
In order to promote increased safety in football in the State of Missouri. It is the goal of the “Safety in Football Campaign” to help each and every football team in Missouri to identify ways in which they can lessen the risks of injury and keep the focus on the fun and camaraderie of football. Many high school and college football teams will be donning a small helmet sticker on the back of each player’s helmet. The sticker represents the cumulative efforts of these schools and the Athletic Training community towards improving safety in youth football in the state of Missouri.
In the circumstance a school or athletic association does not have access to the healthcare services of an athletic trainer, there are still simple steps that every program or association can put in place to improve safety in football. Examples of best practices include but are not limited to:
-Providing and maintaining an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) at all practices, games, and events
-Coordinating a venue-specific Emergency Action Plan with your local Emergency Medical Services (EMS) provider
-Helping provide annual CPR/First Aid/AED Training for those who oversee youth athletes
-Having immediate access to cold-water immersion tubs during periods of high heat and humidity
-Implementing and enforcing current and up to date safety measures designed to eliminate head-first collisions
There are tremendous benefits for athletes who participate in football. These athletes have increased self-esteem, lower dropout rates in school, and demonstrate a stronger involvement in their school and community. It is the goal of the “Safety in Football Campaign” to help each and every football team in Missouri identify ways in which they can lessen the risks of injury and keep the focus on the fun and camaraderie of football.
Throughout the regular season for the 2018 high school season the Missouri Athletic Trainers Association will send out a weekly tip/information through social media platform to help further educate important topics in the sport today. Please follow along as we do so @MOATA1984 on Twitter.
Please use the following designations during the campaign and share on your social media accounts.