Source: National Athletic Trainers' Association

DALLAS, October 24, 2012 - In an effort to improve appropriate medical care for youth athletes, the National Athletic Trainers' Association announced today the fourth annual Youth Sports Safety Summit in Washington, D.C. The February 5-6, 2013 event, which will launch the National Action Plan for Sports Safety, will build upon the success of the NATA-founded Youth Sports Safety Alliance and its prior summits. The Alliance, comprising nearly 80 organizations, is committed to keeping young athletes safe.

"This is an exciting and necessary next step to ensure NATA's and the Alliance's messages of sports safety are communicated at the national, state and local levels," said NATA President Jim Thornton, MA, ATC, CES. "With a common goal of preventing catastrophic injury and illness, we look forward to working with members of the Alliance and many others who share our commitment to youth athletes. The National Action Plan is not just about football and concussion. Kids suffer catastrophic injuries and death from other sports and from other injuries."

The National Action Plan is a new education initiative to improve sports safety, achieve appropriate medical care in secondary schools, understand the potential risks, and at the same time, bring to light the many benefits of playing sports. It will focus on steps that will be taken to provide safety measures including personnel, equipment, and prevention and management of sport-related injuries. Elements of the plan will include medical and emergency components of safe sports; how national, state and local groups can work together to educate policymakers; insights on legal and risk management issues; and official policies and statements on appropriate medical care for secondary school and young athletes.

Summit attendees will be from both national and state organizations, including: parent advocate groups; education and school administration organizations; health care and sports associations; state and federal policymakers; athletic/activity associations; and sports governing bodies. Those attending will participate in work groups to finalize the National Action Plan. The summit will culminate with visits to legislators on Capitol Hill.

"Our past three Youth Sports Safety Summits have grounded us in solid research, education and legislative calls to action," added Thornton. "The Plan takes the combined efforts of NATA and Alliance members to the next level so that we can positively influence rule and policy changes at state and local levels and motivate the public, parents, health care professionals, media and lawmakers to improve sports safety nationally. NATA and a steering committee are developing the National Action Plan, at the request of Alliance members."

Registration and agenda details will be announced soon. Interested organizations can contact NATA for more information at ellen@nata.org or judyp@nata.org.

About NATA National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) - Health Care for Life & Sport Athletic trainers are health care professionals who specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries and sport-related illnesses. They prevent and treat chronic musculoskeletal injuries from sports, physical and occupational activity, and provide immediate care for acute injuries. Athletic trainers offer a continuum of care that is unparalleled in health care. The National Athletic Trainers' Association represents and supports 35,000 members of the athletic training profession.

About the Youth Sports Safety Alliance Since 2010, the Youth Sports Safety Alliance has worked to raise awareness, advance legislation and improve medical care for young athletes across the country. High school athletes suffer 2 million injuries, 200,000 doctor visits and 30,000 hospitalizations every year. The alliance is committed to reducing those numbers and improving the health and safety of our young athletes. The YSSA was spearheaded by the National Athletic Trainers' Association and now includes nearly 80 member organizations.

Emily Attwood is Managing Editor of Athletic Business.