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Why doesn't my high school have an athletic trainer?

Unless you live in the State of Hawaii, certified athletic trainers (ATCs), medical experts in preventing, recognizing, managing and rehabilitating injuries that result from physical activity, are not mandated by law to be employed by your high school. School district finances are usually to blame why they do not employ full-time athletic trainers. In fact, only 42% of high schools have any access to athletic training services. In 1998, the American Medical Association recommended that a certified athletic trainer be part of the athletic medical team of any school that mounts a sports program. Many states have now passed laws that dictate the care student athletes receive before returning to play from a concussion and implementing heat illness prevention programs, but do not mandate that these services be performed by an athletic trainer. As state and national attention continues to increase on awareness, education, and prevention of catastrophic injuries in youth sports, hopefully more school districts will make the commitment to athlete safety and hire a certified athletic trainer. Also, as a student or parent, it is your right to propose to your town school board that an athletic trainer is needed for your athletic program.
(This answer provided for NATA by Timothy Hansen, MS, ATC, CSCS.)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.