Share “Experts say hiring trainers, more...”

Experts say hiring trainers, more education may help prevent youth injuries

Experts say some youth sports injuries could be prevented through more trainers, better-educated coaches
by Graham Lee Brewer Published: October 9, 2013

Oklahoma children participating in youth sports are suffering injuries that could be prevented with more trainers and better-educated coaches, athletic experts said Tuesday at the Capitol Tuesday.

Rep. Dan Kirby, R-Tulsa, held an interim study that looked into sports-related injuries in Oklahoma youth programs.

Many who testified said thousands of injuries that sideline young players could have been prevented if caught earlier.

“I want my kid to at least have somebody that recognized, somebody that knows CPR, recognized if it's too hot, recognized if they are having cardiac arrest or a concussion,” said Kirby. “Even a minimal layer of education is better than nothing.”

Athletic trainers, professors and representatives of the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association all agreed there is a lack of education among coaches and staff on how to handle specific injuries and situations.

“First of all, what we want is education,” said Ed Sheakley, executive director of the OSSAA, which governs sports for most of Oklahoma's public schools.

Sheakley said the first step in preventing many injuries, and in some cases even deaths, is educating coaches.

“They're going to be the first responders probably nine times out of 10,” he said.

Injuries happen

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children involved in youth sports are injured to the point of requiring a trip to the emergency room 1.35 million times annually, or roughly every 25 seconds.

Ron Walker, a clinical assistant professor at the University of Tulsa, said many of those visits can be prevented by hiring an athletic trainer. Walker said that nationally just shy of 70 percent of public schools have a trainer on staff. In Oklahoma it is less than 20 percent.

Continue reading this story on the...

by Graham Lee Brewer
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Graham Lee Brewer began his career as a journalist covering Oklahoma's vibrant music scene in 2006. After working as a public radio reporter for KGOU and then Oklahoma Watch he went on to cover the Oklahoma Senate for eCapitol before joining the...
+ show more

Trending Now


  1. 1
    Report: TLC cancels 'Honey Boo Boo'
  2. 2
    IRS notches legal victory in tea party cases
  3. 3
    Can You Get Ebola From a Bowling Ball?
  4. 4
    Couch potato lifestyles could kill the welfare state, landmark report warns
  5. 5
    Series Is On, and Everybody’s Watching ... Football
+ show more