If your child is an athlete, odds are they’ve worked with an athletic trainer at some point. If not, they are likely to in the future. Here’s everything you need to know about athletic trainers and training programs for young athletes.
What is an athletic trainer?
An athletic trainer is a licensed healthcare professional specializing in the prevention, examination, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of emergent, acute, or chronic injuries and medical conditions that occur during sports activity or to athletes in general.
Athletic trainers are often contracted to provide coverage for home events and practices across a wide range of sports specialties, including football, track and field, baseball, basketball, wrestling, and more. Athletic trainers may also travel with teams to away games and events as well.
In many cases, athletic trainers are part of a larger sports medicine program offered by an area hospital or healthcare group. Syracuse Area Health is proud to have built a robust athletic training program that includes athletic trainers Megan Neemann, MS, LAT, ATC and Martika Baratta, MS, LAT, ATC who work constantly with young athletes to ensure their safety and help them achieve their athletic goals.
How can you communicate with our athletic trainers?
Our athletic trainers keep regular office hours to respond to questions or injuries whether they occur during a game, at practice, or during any other activity. They utilize the Healthy Roster App so athletic trainers, parents, and athletes can view injuries as they are documented.
Questions can be asked and answered, physicians’ notes uploaded, and meticulous notes kept about discomfort levels, treatment compliance, and progress towards being cleared to continue physical activity after an injury.
Parents can even report their children’s off-field injuries through the app, so our athletic trainers can check up on them at school before they go to P.E. or their next practice session. This helps ensure that young athletes are being supported fully and their fitness and health put first.
Dr. Scott Strasburger of Strasburger Orthopaedics – Syracuse Area Health is a sports medicine specialist who is ready to treat young players who are injured and need specialized care to restore their athleticism. He works with our athletic trainers to provide a complete circle of care.
One of the most important things about our athletic training program is our commitment to protecting young athletes against concussion damage. To that end, we have implemented a clear and stringent approach towards managing concussion risk.
Our athletic trainers administer a baseline concussion test prior to any participation in athletics. They utilize the SWAY medical concussion system, which is a smartphone-based system that allows for easier accessibility to help with on the field decision making. These baselines are administered to all athletes in 7th grade or older and are repeated every two years. We have strict policies in place to ensure proper gear is worn by all athletes, and consistently review safety information to help guard them against concussions.
In case a concussion does occur, the athletic trainer on-site will follow the SDA school district’s concussion policy, which states that any student-athlete who sustains injury with reasonable cause to suspect a concussion will be removed from play and evaluated by the athletic trainer, depending on the time of day and where the athlete was when the injury occurred.
From there, a clear set of steps will be followed to ensure the student-athlete’s safety and health are preserved. If a concussion is confirmed, a gradual progression back into physical activity, including school P.E. and sports play, must be approved by the athletic trainer.
Want to know more about our Sports Outreach and Athletics Training Program? Contact us today.