When Kahok Football athletes take the field on Friday, September 20, 2019, their helmets will sport a sticker indicating Collinsville High School is a participant in Illinois Athletic Trainers Association‘s Safety in Football campaign.
Beginning on Friday, September 13 and culminating with the weekend of September 21, numerous high schools and colleges 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 IATA towards improving safety in youth football in the state of Illinois.
Collinsville High School has been designated a “1st Team Safe Sports School” since 2017. The program recognizes secondary schools that provide safe environments for student athletes and reinforces the importance of providing the best level of care, injury prevention and treatment.
“Ensuring the health and safety of the athletes is the top priority of those of us on the CHS Sports Medicine Team,” said CHS Athletic Trainer Amanda Baugher.
Football is one of the most popular sports among youth athletes, and it leads all other sports in the number of injuries sustained. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, “In 2007, more than 920,000 athletes under the age of 18 were treated in emergency rooms, doctors’ offices, and clinics for football related injuries.” There are three times as many catastrophic football injuries among high school athletes as college athletes.
Interestingly, 62% of injuries occur during practices but across the country only 37% of secondary schools have a full-time athletic trainer on-site daily. This is why athletic trainers are such vital components of safe and successful football teams.
“Athletic trainers are multi-skilled health care professionals who provide preventative services, emergency and acute care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions.” Athletic trainers are one of, if not the only, healthcare professional who can successfully take an athlete from the point of injury and successfully take them through the entire recovery process.
All across the state of Illinois, athletic trainers 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 fact, the placement of athletic trainers in every secondary school that offers an athletic program is recommended by both the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine.
It is the goal of the “Safety in Football Campaign” to help each and every football team in Illinois identify ways in which they can lessen the risks of injury and raise awareness of the role of the athletic trainer.