If you're concerned about an injury that your child has suffered during athletics, contact the athletic trainer assigned to your child's team or school.
Your child's coach or athletic director will know who is assigned to your child and how to contact him or her.
If an injury appears minor one day, then becomes more bothersome the next, call your child's athletic training to assist you in deciding what to do for your child. It's recommended that parents seek medical care for their child if they have any doubt as to the seriousness of the injury.
It's strongly recommended that athletes contact the athletic training staff when they have seen a physician. The athletic training staff can facilitate communication between the physicians and coaches to assure proper treatment and return to play guidelines are met.
Student athletes seen by a physician will be required to submit a written release from the physician, to their coach or athletic trainer, in order to return to participation. This release is a WIAA requirement and is the only documentation that confirms that a student athlete is cleared to participate.
Injuries that occur at school
Athletic and other injuries that occur at school, practices and games should be reported to the licensed athletic trainer and the athlete's coach as soon as possible. If the athlete is injured during school hours, report the injury to the school nurse or other appropriate school personnel.
The athletic trainer will evaluate the injury and decide the most appropriate treatment for the athlete. Treatment will be based on the athletic trainer's level of training, established protocols and standing orders furnished by the team's medical director and physicians. In most cases, injuries are minor in nature and the athlete can be successfully treated in the athletic training room at school or home.
If the injury is more extensive or will require further medical evaluation by a medical provider, the athletic trainer or coach will contact the athlete's parent or guardian concerning the nature of the injury. It's essential that all athletic injuries be reported to the athletic training staff when they occur.
Injuries that occur on the road
An athletic trainer may accompany a team when an event takes place away from home. An athlete should report any injury to the athletic trainer. If no athletic trainer is present, the athlete should report the injury to the coach.
If the host school employs an athletic trainer, the coaching staff may elect to have the athlete examined by the host school's athletic trainer. The athletic trainer will usually provide basic care for the injury and will send the athlete to his or her sports medicine provider. In cases of significant injury, every attempt will be made to contact the parents directly and immediate medical attention will be sought.
Athletes and parents may contact their athletic trainer, if returning late from an event with an injury. Do not hesitate to call with questions about managing an injury. Proper initial treatment can significantly decrease pain, reduce swelling and speed the healing process.
General and follow-up care
In order to ensure that athletes recover from their athletic injuries, it's extremely important they make every effort to come to the athletic training room for follow-up evaluations and care.
The athletic training staff can then determine if they have recovered sufficiently, or if they require further medical attention.
Because of the number of athletic programs at each school, your school's athletic trainer may not always have an opportunity to track your child if he or she fails to report to the training room for initial or follow-up care for an injury. It's strongly encouraged that parents keep checking with their child and even call the athletic trainer, if they have any doubt as to their child's recovery status and treatments following an injury.
Athle tic trainers at each school can offer a wide array of treatment methods and rehabilitation procedures. These may include: icing, moist heat packs, warm/cold whirlpools, massage, exercise rehabilitation, stretching, strengthening and functional testing.
Therapy may be indicated for proper rehabilitation after an injury. Physical therapists and licensed athletic trainers work together to provide a team approach to rehabilitative care. Your physician can write a referral for physical therapy or athletic training services.
All treatment plans for athletes are based upon established protocols, a physician's written, oral or standing orders, and standard rehabilitation protocols.
If specialized medical care is needed, your medical provider can assist with any referral to the appropriate surgical or non-surgical specialist.