What is an athletic trainer (AT)?
Certified athletic trainers specialize in preventing, managing and rehabilitating injured athletes. In the high school setting ATs develop injury prevention and athletic conditioning programs, perform skilled injury evaluations and first response treatment for acute injuries and prepare athletes for practice and competition. After injuries the AT develops a specific rehabilitation plan to return the athlete to the field as quickly and safely as possible. AT also provide a vital communication link between the injured athlete, the physician and the coaches to determine when it’s right to return to play.
When should your son or daughter see the athletic trainer?
Your student-athlete should see the AT as soon as an injury has occurred. The AT is at the school during practices and games so your student-athlete will be able to be seen immediately after an injury has occurred in most cases. The sooner an injury is seen the quicker the recovery process can begin.
What if the injury occurs when the athletic trainer can not be reached?
If the injury was sustained at an away event or off-site practice, please have your son or daughter see the AT the following school day. Follow the R.I.C.E. guidelines until your student-athlete can be seen.
Rest the injured body part with minimal activity
Ice for 20 minutes an hour for pain and swelling
Compress and support the area with an ace wrap or bandage
Elevate the injury above heart level to reduce swelling
Ibuprofen can be used to help decrease pain and inflammation.
**Remember, applying heat to injuries less than 3 days old can exacerbate the injury and increase healing time.**
What if the injury is more serious and requires a doctor visit or I decide to take my child to the doctor?
If the injury requires more immediate care than can be provided by the AT, your son or daughter will be referred by the AT to the appropriate medical provider. When the referral is made in most cases a written note will also accompany your student-athlete so that it can be filled out and returned to the school. Please remember that ALL physician visits require a written note to allow your student-athlete to return to play. Without a note, no participation is allowed.
What if I decide to take my student-athlete to the doctor because of an illness?
If you decide to take your student-athlete to the doctor because of an illness – Please remember that ALL physician visits require a written note to allow your student-athlete to participate. Without a note, no participation is allowed.
What if I think my student-athlete needs urgent medical attention before seeing the school athletic trainer?
If you feel that your son or daughter needs to seek medical attention prior to seeing the school AT be sure to get a written note at the time of the appointment. The note needs to include the reason for care and any restrictions or follow-up care required. If none is required, the note should state that. Failure to obtain a written note for any type of physician visit or medical attention will delay your son or daughter’s return to participation. It is also essential that any sports related injuries be reported to the athletic trainer as soon as possible to ensure that proper documentation can be done.
Does the school have insurance to cover athletic injuries?
Yes, the school has secondary athletic insurance for athletic injuries. It is important to realize that it is secondary to your primary insurance and has a $500 deductible and then pays 60%. If an injury occurs that warrants further medical care the AT will fill out the insurance paperwork and send it home with your student-athlete. If you did not get an insurance form for an injury and would like one, please contact your athletic trainer. It is your responsibility to complete the form according the instructions on the back and submit the necessary documents directly to the insurance agency. Filling out the forms is not a guarantee of coverage.