Preventing Injuries for Student Athletes

Victoria Hines, Sports Editor

A staple of the high school experience is playing a sport or cheering at the many sporting events that occur. However, some students fail to realize how many athletes injure themselves during practice or games. According to Weinstein Injury Lawyer, around two million student-athletes get injured throughout the season. The majority of high school injuries are caused by a lack of stretching or roughness of sports, although schools have precautions in place to play the safest game. 

In recent years, high school sports became safer, in the academic year 2021-2022, the concussion rates were lower than before the pandemic. Nathan Ocampo Sierra Vista’s Athletic Trainer explains some of the precautions schools put into place, “A good warm-up has been shown to help reduce injuries, technique taught by our coaches and cool-downs after exercise as well. In addition, most teams take part in weight training to help strengthen and load their bodies.” Ocampo also states, “physical exams must be performed prior to any athlete participating in a tryout. It’s also very important.” Precautions help make sure students are playing the safest game possible. Although most injuries are inevitable precautions help limit the numbers. 

Recovery is a long process that Clark County School District attempts to help at every obstacle. Ocampo expresses how schools help, “athletic trainers perform an evaluation of the athlete’s injury and come up with a plan to help the athlete return to play safely.” Ocampo continues, “We coordinate with their parents, based on their insurance plan, to help find them an orthopedic if needed or concussion specialist. If physical therapy is needed we can help coordinate a referral as well.” The school helps with recovery by issuing referrals for the best doctors and therapists available. Sierra Vista athletes get transported to Dignity Health where

trained nurses and doctors appreciate helping student-athletes and will get students the fastest care possible. 

Athletic Trainers work to protect and help heal students after injuries. Ocampo talks about the plan of action schools follow, “athletes will most likely seek out assistance from me (the athletic trainer) for an evaluation…After evaluation I will communicate with their parents my findings/prognosis and assist in getting them set up with the appropriate medical professional necessary to safely return to play.” Quick evaluation helps students receive the medical help they need as fast as possible, so they can be back on the field safely 

Despite concussion rates lowering throughout the 2021-2022 school year, in the 2022-2003 school year some cases raised some questions. One of the main ones is the death of 16-year-old Ashari Hughes. During a Flag Football game at Desert Oasis High School, Hughes went into cardiac arrest and unfortunately died. 

To date, CCSD has not released any statements regarding the possibility of adding further precautions that protect student-athletes.