Positive Health; In the two years since the Korey Stringer Institute (KSI) first assess all 50 states and the District of Columbia on key health and safety policies for high school athletes, 31 states have adopt new policies 16 this year alone. With more than 7.8 million high school students participating in sanctioned sports each year; so the need for comprehensive safety policies and training is critical. Adopting evidence base safety measures significantly reduces risks, says Douglas Casa, professor of kinesiology and the CEO of KSI at the University of Connecticut.
Now in its third iteration, the annual state-by-state review takes into account; so the extent to which they met a series of evidence-based best practice guidelines. It is believe to be the only comprehensive assessment of high school sports and safety policies; rating states on implementing important safety guidelines intend to protect student athletes from heat stroke; also sudden cardiac arrest; also other potentially life-threatening conditions that may be prevented.
Many positive health
“They are excite to see so many positive health and safety policy changes for high school athletes across the nation,” says Casa. “Many key advocates in states have made strides to push the envelope and make sports safer for those kids and we are so grateful for their efforts.” New Jersey now leads the nation in safety for student athletes as determine by the adoption of the most health and safety policies.
Following New Jersey are Massachusetts, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Georgia, in that order. Three of those states North Carolina, Kentucky, and Massachusetts have had the best high school sport safety programs; hence in the country since the study was first launched. Massachusetts is among the many states this year that newly require; so the use of wet-bulb globe temperature for monitoring the environment during heat waves.
That technology offers a comprehensive measure to aid in determining; so the environmental stress place on an athlete. Schools in Massachusetts are now require to measure the environment and to make modifications to their activity base on the readings. “The student athletes deserve these standards and I am happy to see them in place,” says John Jardine, Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) sports medicine advisory committee member. “It is exciting that the MIAA has made these strides to implement environmental monitoring policies.”
Training for all coaches
Georgia’s policy changes include the requirement of CPR/AED training for all coaches; also emergency action plan standards and the mantra “cool first, transport second” for exertional heat stroke treatment. Bud Cooper, a member of the sports medicine advisory committee for the Georgia High School Association says, the association “has proactive in providing guidance; also comprehensive policies that ensure student-athletes are provide the safest environment for participation.”
Oregon, Colorado and West Virginia now require athletic trainers to be license to practice in the state. New Jersey and Massachusetts both improve their environmental monitoring policies and require their member schools; so to use wet bulb globe temperature as a measurement of environmental stress place on athletes. Utah improve its safety measures by requiring cold water immersion and coaching education in sudden death.
KSI is a national sports safety research and advocacy organization name after a former Minnesota Vikings offensive lineman who died from exertional heat stroke in 2001. The mission of the KSI is to provide research, education, advocacy and consultation to maximize performance; optimize safety and prevent sudden death for the athlete, warfighter and laborer. Casa notes, “we still have much work to do to get all states to comply with the 2013 best practices recommendations to prevent sudden death in secondary school athletics.”