All Loudoun County Public Schools have received the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Safe Sports School award through the year 2017. The award champions safety and recognizes secondary schools that provide safe environments for student athletes. The award reinforces the importance of providing the best level of care, injury prevention and treatment.
Physical activity is very important for our youth, according to NATA president Jim Thornton, MS, ATC, CES. “There has been an increase in competitive sports, which are, unfortunately, not without risk. Brain injury/concussion, cardiac arrest, heat illness, exertional sickling, cervical spine fractures and other injuries and illnesses are potentially life-threatening.” Proper planning with proper equipment and personnel is vital to the safety of student athletes today, he notes.
In order to achieve Safe Sport School status athletic programs must do the following:
Create a positive athletic health care administrative system
Provide or coordinate pre-participation physical examinations
Promote safe and appropriate practice and competition facilities
Plan for selection, fit function and proper maintenance of athletic equipment
Provide a permanent, appropriately equipped area to evaluate and treat injured athletes
Develop injury and illness prevention strategies & protocols for environmental conditions
Provide or facilitate injury intervention
Create and rehearse a venue-specific Emergency Action Plan
Provide or facilitate psychosocial consultation and nutritional counseling/education
Be sure athletes and parents are educated of the potential benefits and risks in sports as well as their responsibilities