Protect America’s young athletes in April
When: April 1 – 30
What: Parents of young athletes are used to tending to scraped knees and bruised elbows, but accidents on the field or court can often be more serious. The National Youth Sports Safety Foundation (NYSSF) reports that sports activities are the second most frequent cause of injury to adolescents. In April, support the physical and emotional safety of young athletes during National Youth Sports Safety Month.
Background: Launched in 1993 by the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation, National Youth Sports Safety Month is a national campaign promoting safety in sports participation. It addresses topics ranging from risks and eating disorders, to coaching guidelines and conduct codes for parents.
Story Pitch: Recreational sporting leagues can encourage safe habits for both young athletes and coaches alike, as can school athletic programs. Coaches and parents can participate in training programs to ensure the safety of athletic young people, while universities offering sports medicine degrees can promote their programs.
The Story Hook: According to the National Youth Sports Safety Alliance, 400,000 concussions occurred in high school sports in 2008-09. While commonly associated with football, concussions can happen in any sport. Consider the following when making your pitch:
- How can schools and recreational leagues be prepared for injuries?
- How can parents prepare their children to exercise caution during play?
- How can emotional injuries, such as bullying and verbal abuse, be prevented for young athletes?
- How has safety gear developed with young athletes in mind?
Tips: When making your pitch, provide contact information for coaches and sports organizers who can speak on the actions they’re taking to promote youth safety on the playing field.
National Athletic Trainers’ Association
–Youth Sports Safety Alliance
National Center for Sports Safety
–Researched, compiled & written by Lisa Rowan
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