One in every three high schools in the U.S. has no access to an athletic trainer, according to a large study.
Even among the schools with some access, in roughly half the trainer is only part-time, the researchers report in the Journal of Athletic Training.
“Every athlete who participates in sport at the high school level deserves the best when it comes to emergency best practices and athletic injuries,” said lead author Robert Huggins of the University of Connecticut, in Storrs.
Athletic trainers provide emergency and non-emergency care for athletes and are the main healthcare professionals trained in injury prevention for physical activity. At the high school level, they coordinate care and follow-up, conduct rehabilitation and return players to the game. They help with concussions, orthopedic injuries, eating disorders, heat illnesses, heart issues, weight management, diabetic episodes and substance abuse concerns.