Keeping High School Athletes Safe, Injury Free

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School athletics are not always fun and games.

In some situations, kids can get seriously hurt.

But over the past few years, school districts have started looking for better ways to keep their students safe and injury free.
It’s the first game for the freshman football squad at Fairfax County High school in Virginia, and already a player from the opposing team has broken his arm.

It’s a pretty serious injury, but he’s in good hands.

That’s because the county has two certified athletic trainers at each high school in case an injury occurs.

“They are there to provide comprehensive healthcare for the entire athletic population,” said Jon Almquist, Fairfax County Athletics administrator.

As statistics point to a rise in avoidable deaths among high school athletes because of heat exhaustion, concussion, and cardiac arrest, more schools are looking at adding athletic trainers to their rosters.

The trainers are taught to look for possible problems in young players, before the serious symptoms show up.

Schools like Fairfax provide special training so they are ready for anything.

“So there’s an emergency action plan that coaches have for every facility that they are at, where they practice and where they compete,” said Almquist.

Athletic trainers are also the medical experts away from home.

“We do our best to contact the parent immediately upon any acute injury, to make sure that they know what’s coming home,” said Brett Gustman, head athletic trainer at Fairfax High School.

The Fairfax County model costs several million dollars a year, but many school districts across the country are looking at it as a way to protect their young athletes

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