ORLEANS – High schools with athletic
trainers have lower overall injury rates, according to a new study, “A
Comparative Analysis of Injury Rates and Patterns Among Girls’ Soccer and Basketball
Players,” presented Oct. 22 at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
National Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans. In addition, athletes at
schools with athletic trainers are more likely to be diagnosed with a
Researchers reviewed national sports injury data on girls’ high school soccer
and basketball programs with athletic trainers, between the fall of 2006 and
the spring of 2009, from the Reporting Information Online (RIO™) and compared
it to local Sports Injury Surveillance System (SISS) data on a sample of
Chicago public high school programs without athletic trainers for the same
sports and time period.
Overall injury rates were 1.73 times higher
among soccer players and 1.22 times higher among basketball players in schools without
athletic trainers. Recurrent injury rates were 5.7 times higher in soccer and
2.97 times higher in basketball in schools without athletic trainers. In
contrast, concussion injury rates were 8.05 times higher in soccer and 4.5
times higher in basketball in schools with athletic trainers.
While less than 50 percent of U.S. high
schools have athletic trainers, “this data shows the valuable role that they
can play in preventing, diagnosing and managing concussions and other
injuries,” said Cynthia LaBella, MD, FAAP. “Athletic trainers have a skill set
that is very valuable, especially now when there is such a focus on concussions
and related treatment and care. Concussed athletes are more likely to be
identified in schools with athletic trainers and thus more likely to receive
“Athletic trainers facilitate treatment of
injuries and monitor recovery so that athletes are not returned to play
prematurely. This likely explains the lower rates of recurrent injuries in
schools with athletic trainers,” said Dr. LaBella.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary
care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical
specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants,
children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org.