New guidelines have been released to help deal with emergency health-related youth issues during sporting events. The National Athletic Trainers’ Association released the Inter-Association Task Force guidelines in Indianapolis Tuesday, March 7th as part of the annual Youth Sports Safety Summit.
“The document is the first of its kind to address youth sports and specifically the most common conditions resulting in sudden death. Furthermore, it outlines best practices and serves as a call to action for health and safety committees of youth sports national governing bodies,” says Robert Huggins, task force co-chair and vice president of Research and Athlete Performance and Safety at the Korey Stringer Institute. “We hope these recommendations lead to enhanced health and safety support systems for youth sports commissioners and league leaders and improved safety for our youngest athletes.”
The task force recognizes each organization is unique and will need to address policy and procedure recommendations differently to ensure best practice implementation; and, that all best practice policy and procedure recommendations may not be necessary for each sport (e.g. lightning policy for indoor sports).
Numbers from emergency department visits in children ages 6-18 indicated that 39 percent of life threatening injuries was sport-related. In 2016, there were at least 23 sports-related deaths under the age of 18.
The guidelines are published in the Journal of Athletic Training.