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Athletic Training

March 17 - Athletic Training Month Resource of the Day


Lightning Safety for Athletics and Recreation

With the recent lightning strike incident of the the four members of the Seymour High School (Indiana) girls softball team, serving as a reminder of the danger of severe weather it is important that athletic programs being conducted outside be prepared.

To learn about the dangers of lightning, undertstand lightning-safety guidelines and the proper defintions safe structures and locations, and to advocate the proper prehospital care for lightning-strike victims. Read the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Position Statement: Lightning Safety for Athletics and Recreation:


March 15 - Athletic Training Month Resource of the Day


Sickle Cell Trait is an inherited blood mutation that affects red blood cells that normally has no symptoms. People with the trait carry only one copy of the abnormal sickle gene. People with sickle cell trait are generally healthy.

During intense or extensive exertion, the shape of red blood cells can change from round to ‘sickle’ shaped. The sickle shape cell can jam the blood vessels setting up a situation where blood can’t move freely to reach different parts of the body. As blood flow is blocked, parts of the body can’t get enough oxygen. This can pose a grave risk for athletes as muscles and organs start to die.  

Are athletes with Sickle Cell Trait allowed to compete in athletics? 

There is no contraindication to participation in sport for the athlete with sickle cell trait.  Most doctors agree that most people with sickle cell trait will never have a problem. In rare circumstances, complications may result but lack of awareness and knowledge poses the biggest risk.  Education and precautions work best. 

The NCAA has published two quality documents on sickle cell trait.

One for coaches: 2012 NCAA Sickle Cell Trait Fact Sheet for Coaches

March 14 - Athletic Training Month Resource of the Day

Matters of the Heart: What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest and How Do AEDs Save Lives?

What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA)?

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is the leading cause of death in young athletes. It occurs suddenly and without warning when the heart abruptly stops. Blood ceases to flow to the brain and other vital organs, causing immediate loss of consciousness or seizure-like activity.  If not treated within the first few minutes, SCA results in death. 

Approximately one case of sudden cardiac death occurs every three days in organized youth sports, resulting in an estimated 3,000 to 7,000 deaths of school-aged children who have shown no prior signs of cardiac illness or symptoms.Sudden cardiac arrest is NOT a heart attack. With a heart attack, the heart usually does not suddenly stop beating, although a heart attack can lead to SCA.

To see and print a great handout on sudden cardiac arrest visit:  http://www.atsnj.org/documents/pdf/ATSNJ_Cardiac_AED.pdf



March 13 - Athletic Training Month Resource of the Day

Steroid Use in Youth Sports: Prevention and Detection Resources 

The use of anabolic steroids is a hot sports issue. It has implications for both professional players and for young athletes who feel that they won’t have a competitive edge without steroids or other performance enhancers. 

Despite media warnings about the risks of anabolic steroids—which include fertility problems, potentially irreversible masculine traits in females and breast enlargement in males, toxic effects on the liver and cardiovascular system, arrested growth, and damaging psychiatric side effects—young athletes keep taking them. According to surveys, 6.1% of students nationwide had taken oral or injected steroids without a doctor’s prescription at least once. The motivation to use steroids often comes from peer pressure, and in some cases, an athlete's own internal desire to achieve athletic greatness. In addition, some teenagers simply want to look better.

To see ATSNJ resources on steroid use prevention and detection visit:   http://atsnj.org/tags/steroids


Brain Injury Association of America Applauds Introduction of National Traumatic Brain Injury Surveillance System Act of 2014

During a press conference this afternoon, Susan H. Connors, President and CEO of the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA), endorsed the National Brain Injury Surveillance System Act of 2014

During a press conference this afternoon, Susan H. Connors, President and CEO of the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA), endorsed the National Brain Injury Surveillance System Act of 2014. Congressmen Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-N.J.) and Tom Rooney (R-Penn.) introduced the legislation today, which is Brain Injury Awareness Day.
When enacted, the legislation will direct the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to collect national data on traumatic brain injuries (TBI) across the lifespans of people with brain injuries. It will also collect additional data on individuals at the time of the injury, such as the severity of the injury, previous history of brain injury, co-occurring issues such as substance abuse or PTSD, and pre-existing conditions like ADHD or learning disabilities.
“When an individual sustains a brain injury it is not an event, it is the start of a lifelong disability,” said Connors. “An individual with a brain injury needs the appropriate access to care immediately after their injury and continued therapy so they may be active in their communities and return to work.”
“Comprehensive data will drive the development of systems of care that are needed to meet this growing public health problem, as well as guide prevention efforts and support research activities, that I hope will someday lead to a cure.” Connors said in closing. “BIAA thanks Congressman Pascrell and Congressman Rooney for introducing the National Traumatic Brain Injury Surveillance System Act of 2014 today.”

March 12 - Athletic Training Month Resource of the Day

Tooth Safety and Treatment

Athletes are highly susceptible to mouth and dental injuries. Ranging from a cracked, chipped or broken tooth to gum damage, prevention is the only way to avert the high price tag that comes along with a serious dental accident. Athletes have a 33%-56% chance of incurring a sports dentistry problem during their sporting career and a 10% chance of injury each athletic season.

Wearing a properly fitted mouthguard is extremely important for tooth protection during activity. The reason why wearing a mouthguard is so essential is because an athlete's risk is 60 times more likely to have a serious impairment if he/she is not wearing a mouthguard. Mouthguards are the number one preventative measure to ensure tooth safety.

Saving a Tooth:

March 11 - Athletic Training Month Resource of the Day

When athletic shoes should be replaced depends upon amount of usage, signs of wear and age of the shoe. The four main components of an athletic that can break down or wear out: outer sole, midsole, heel counter and shank or cut out area of the shoe.

When do you replace athletic shoes?

  1. After 300-500 miles of running or walking, 45-60 hours of basketball, aerobic dance or tennis.
  2. Shows signs of unevenness when placed on flat surface.
  3. Display noticeable creasing.

Even without use shoes can “wear out”. Depending upon the environment the shoes are kept in; the outsole, midsole and some of the upper materials can dry out and not function optimally.  Therefore, it is best to replace athletic shoes that are over a year old whether they are worn out or not.

Replacing athletic shoes when necessary maybe costly in the short term, but will prevent injuries and keep you active in “the long run”.

March 10 - Athletic Training Month Resource of the Day

As a follow up to yesterday's resource.

Proper eye protection can help reduce the number and the severity of eye injuries. The correct protective eyewear should dissipate a potentially harmful force over a large area. In some sports it may be necessary to integrate helmets with face and eye protection.  The American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) has established performance standards for selected eyewear in racquet sports, baseball, basketball , women's lacrosse, field hockey and alpine skiing.

Protective eyewear is often made of polycarbonate, a highly impact-resistant plastic capable of absorbing ultraviolet light. Polycarbonate lenses are available in both prescription and non prescription eyewear protection.

Recommendations for Protective Eyewear

2-mm polycarbonate lenses in normal street wear frames (for athletes who need corrective lenses and are involved in low-risk sports).

Sports frames with a 3-mm polycarbonate lens (for athletes participating in moderate- to high-risk sports). Eye protection should be used by athletes who wear contact lenses and by those who do not need corrective lenses. The athlete with refractive errors should wear prescription polycarbonate lenses.

March 9 - Athletic Training Month Resource of the Day

 Sports Related Eye Injuries

Sports and recreational activities are becoming increasingly popular and account for more than 40,000 eye injuries each year in the United States. About 90 percent of sports-related ocular injuries are considered preventable. Athletes should be educated by athletic trainers and physicians about proper eye and facial protection and encouraged to use protective devices.

Thirty percent of eye injuries among children younger than 16 years are sports related. Basketball, water sports, baseball, and racquet sports account for most injuries. Among young persons five to 14 years of age, baseball is most frequently associated with an eye injury.

Eye injuries in sports can include but are not limited to corneal  abrasions, blunt trauma injuries and penetrating injuries.  

Signs and Symptoms that Require Immediate Referral

Sudden decrease in or loss of vision

Loss of field of vision

Pain on movement of the eye

Sensitivity to light

National Athletic Training Month ATSNJ Video Contest 2014

Voting is now open for the 2014 ATSNJ National Athletic Training Month video contest.

Montclair State University and Rowan University have produced great videos.  The winner will be decided by you. So vote for your favorite video today!

  • The focus of the video was the value of an athletic trainers and the National Athletic Training Month Slogan, "We've Got Your Back"
  • The target audience for the video was the general public.
  • The student group that wins will receive a $200 gift card from the ATSNJ for their student program.
  • Voting will be open through 10pm EST on March 31, 2014.

To vote, visit:     2014 ATSNJ Student Video Contest




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