Here’s how to better protect high school athletes from injury

By Dr. Jeffrey Tanji, special to the Sacramento Bee

Advocates of high school sports share a common concern for the safety of student athletes. Many states are re-examining ways to limit risk, as reports show an increase in concussions and catastrophic events in high schools.

California, however, is the only state that does not regulate athletic trainers, the front-line professionals who are responsible for preventing and treating injuries. As it is, anyone – regardless of education or certification – can be hired to act as an athletic trainer and provide treatment.

I am a sports medicine physician who has been practicing for more than 30 years. My goal and that of my profession is to ensure the health and safety of young athletes. A qualified athletic trainer overseeing and coordinating youth sports is key in meeting that goal.

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