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National Athletic Trainers' Association Launches New "At Your Own Risk" Website

Source: National Athletic Trainers' Association

Baltimore, June 23, 2016 – In its continued commitment to reducing risk of injury and ensuring the health and well-being of athletes and physically active individuals, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association announced today the launch of At Your Own Risk (AYOR), a new public awareness campaign designed to educate, provide resources and equip the public to act and advocate for safety in work, life and sport. In an effort to provide comprehensive information, the association has launched a website, AtYourOwnRisk.org that provides recommendations on keeping student athletes and communities active and employees safe on the job.

 “The National Athletic Trainers’ Association has reinforced its commitment to health and safety of active Americans in all walks of life,” said NATA president Scott Sailor, EdD, ATC. “The launch of the At Your Own Risk website is a natural next step for us as we strive to keep physically active individuals on the job, on the playing field and injury-free in their everyday lives. Accessing information from the site can not only help minimize injury but also help reduce potentially chronic or fatal outcomes.” 

The site includes pertinent information for parents, student athletes, school administrators, employers, legislators and others on the benefits of sports and physical activity and how athletic trainers can play a substantial role in mitigating risk. Browsers can participate in individual quizzes to test their knowledge of sport and occupational safety protocols. An interactive map of all 50 states provides detailed information about recommended sports safety policy implementation; indicates percentages of schools with a full time athletic trainer; and lists those schools that have received NATA’s Safe Sports School Award. There is also an opportunity to share personal stories on how a policy, procedure or athletic trainer improved safety, saved a life or made a substantial difference in school or the community; and information on sports safety legislation and how to support related bills.

Key statistics:

  • Among children, those ages 15 to 17 experience the highest rate of emergency room visits.
  • The secondary school athletic population leads the nation in athletic-related deaths.
  • In 2014-2015, 59.2 percent of injuries reported to an athletic trainer by high school athletes were sustained in competition; the remainder occurred during practice.
  • In 2015 alone, 50 high school athletes’ lives were lost during sport or physical activity while thousands of others have long-term complications resulting from athletic injuries.
  • Work-related musculoskeletal disorders, including those of the neck, upper extremities and low back, are one of the leading causes of lost workday injury and illness.
  • The estimated national annual cost of occupational injuries and illnesses is $250 billion.
  • Companies that employ athletic trainers report a decrease in costs associated with workplace injuries by more than 50 percent.
  • 80 percent of surveyed companies that employ athletic trainers found a positive return on investment of $3 or more for every $1 invested in an athletic training program.

In addition to AYOR, NATA has reinforced its commitment to health and safety through various programs this year. The association and the Youth Sports Safety Alliance, composed of more than 260 organizations, hosted the seventh annual Youth Sports Safety Summit. The association also partnered with the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and hosted the second annual Collaborative Solutions for Safety in Sport meeting. Both programs addressed best practices and encouraged a collaborative approach to sports safety and improvement in safety protocols. As a result of its continued commitment to sports safety, NATA is a finalist for the National Council of Youth Sports STRIVE (Sports Teach Respect, Initiative, Values and Excellence) Award.

“We will provide ongoing and updated content that equips each of us with information to begin or continue a dialogue with school administrators, employers and others,” added Sailor. “We will continue to champion education, research and legislation to protect the lives of young athletes and others.”

NATA has issued the following call to action:

  • Take the interactive quiz to assess your risk and test your knowledge of basic safety protocol.
    • School administrators should apply for the Safe Sports School Award that recognizes schools that have implemented best practices to prevent injury and promote a culture of safe play.
    • Parents should educate themselves on youth sports safety protocols and work with school sports medicine teams, and specifically athletic trainers, to reduce risk for their child, as well as encourage and support legislators that do the same.
    • School administrators need to work hand-in-hand with school sports medicine teams, and specifically athletic trainers, to develop a proactive plan (i.e. emergency action plan) to reduce risk on and off the field.
    • Students should report injuries as they happen to athletic trainers or other members of the sports medicine team.
    • Employers should examine how working hand-in-hand with medical professionals, specifically athletic trainers, and developing a proactive injury prevention plan can help to keep employees on the job and significantly decrease the costs associated with workplace injuries.
  • Parents, administrators and legislators should ensure that young athletes have access to health care professionals who are qualified to make assessments and decisions.
  • Parents and school administrators should contact federal legislators to support national sports safety and physical activity resolutions.

For resources and specific recommendations to keep athletes, community and workplace safer, visit www.AtYourOwnRisk.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 43,000 members of the athletic training profession. Visitwww.nata.org. At Your Own Risk is NATA’s public awareness campaign designed to educate, provide resources and equip the public to act and advocate for safety in work, life and sport. In an effort to provide comprehensive information, the association has launched a website that provides recommendations on keeping student athletes and communities active and employees safe on the job. Visit AtYourOwnRisk.org.

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