Athletic trainers target sudden death in high schools


As more than 15,000 of its 35,000 members gathered here last week, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association issued “The Inter-Association Task Force for Preventing Sudden Death in Secondary School Athletics Programs: Best Practices Recommendations.”

To be published in the Journal of Athletic Training later this month, the consensus statement is endorsed by 13 other organizations including the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and the National Federation of State High School Associations — to which the IHSAA and the IHSA belong.

Opening the press conference during which the document was released and referring to the 50-plus sports-related deaths which occur at the high school level annually, NATA President Jim Thornton, MA, ATC said, “Many are preventable.” While acknowledging success and winning are important, he finished by saying, “Sports safety has to come first.”

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