2015 Youth Sports Safety Summit

March 10, 2015 by JordanG

In a continued effort to keep young athletes safe, NATA and the Youth Sports Safety Alliance hosted the sixth annual Youth Sports Safety Summit in Dallas, Texas on March 2. This year’s forum built on the success of prior summits and addressed the day-long theme of Navigating the Athletic Health Care System, focusing on athletic play in community/league sports as well as school-based athletics. James Andrews, MD, internationally acclaimed orthopedic surgeon, provided the keynote address on creating lifetime athletes to an audience of parent advocates, school administrators, educators, health care professionals and others.

“We have seen progress across the youth sports safety landscape in the past six years with increased legislation, education and research,” says NATA Vice President MaryBeth Horodyski, EdD, ATC, FNATA, who emceed the event. “This summit repeatedly addresses the latest thinking in trends, guidelines, general research and injury surveillance to ensure best practices and protocols are in place for young athletes today. No matter where young athletes play, their health care needs should be a priority.”

Summit topics ranged from new guidelines to address mental health considerations for secondary school athletes to the parenting of young athletes; equipment safety; cardiac arrest protocols; diet and energy recommendations; affordability of medical care in high schools; what research tells us about age and gender in sports; and how research can help shape policy, among other insights. Three panel discussions addressed the athletic health care system from the community, secondary school and urgent care perspectives.

In his presentation, Andrews addressed his concerns about the specialization in youth sports and athletes who play the same sport and often the same position year round. He emphasized the importance of promoting athletic activity while preventing and managing injury.

NATA also released an inter-association consensus statement, “Recommendations for Developing a Plan to Recognize and Refer Student Athletes with Psychological Concerns at the Secondary School Level.” The recommendations are published online in the March Journal of Athletic Training. The statement’s lead author Tim Neal, MS, ATC, (pictured in lead photo) provided an overview of the recommendations during the event.

We also presented the inaugural Youth Sports Safety Ambassador Awards. Read more about the 2015 recipients.

Posted by Communications Manager Jordan Grantham (jordang@nata.org)
Photos by Renee Fernandes/NATA