Guidelines changing for emergency health related issues during youth sporting events

NCAA basketballs
Three teams playing in the Final Four basketball tournament are located within a five-hour drive from Indianapolis. (WISH photo/Chris Bavender)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – In the world of youth sports, guidelines are changing. In the past, there have been no guidelines to deal with an emergency health-related issue during a sporting event, but that is changing Tuesday.

As part of the annual Youth Sports Safety Summit, new standards are set to be released at 10 a.m. They deal with a number of different health issues facing young athletes.

This is big news for any parent or any youth sports organization that is trying keeping kids safe on the field. These new recommendations were compiled by some of the world leading athletic trainers, medical professionals and leaders of youth organizations and will go a long way for kid’s safety

The goal of these new guidelines is to establish health and emergency action plans. In high school and college athletics there are standards when dealing with heart issues, emergency situations, or even concussions. The document being released Tuesday morning is the first of its kind specific to youth sports; think of it as a road map for action plans to deal with emergencies, sudden cardiac arrest, heat stroke and traumatic head and neck injuries at the youth sports level.

Scott Sailor the President National athletic trainer association says these recommendations have been years in the making and filled with details youth sports organizers might not be aware of.

“Even heat related things sometimes it’s not just that it’s a hot day,” said Sailor. It’s that yesterday wasn’t a very hot day so it’s a rapid change in temp can really catch a young athlete and all athletes off guard, and cause their physiology to nor be able to withstand that rapid change of temp.”

Numbers from emergency department visits in children ages 6-18 indicated that 39 percent of life threatening injuries was sport-related. In 2016, there were at least 23 sports-related deaths under the age of 18.

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