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Injured girl soccer player, she is sitting on the grass and is getting her ankle checked out by the soccer coach. The referee is kneeling down with them. There is a teammate in the right side of the photograph who has taken a knee for her injured teammate. They are wearing light blue uniforms and black soccer shorts. There is a soccer ball by her feet.

Who's on Your Team? CHKD.

By Hershel Mack, ATC

It’s an exciting time when your young athlete makes their high school or middle school sports team. Amid this excitement, you may think about the tasks to complete and questions that must be answered for the upcoming season. What is the practice schedule? When are the games? Do I need to buy special equipment? Do I need to adjust my work schedule? What are the goals of the team?

While these are valid questions, make sure to also ask this critical one: Who is on the sports medicine team at my child’s school?

A sports medicine team is comprised of individuals with varying specialties in sports health who collaborate and communicate to ensure safe return to play after an injury. This team can consist of athletic trainers, physical therapists, primary care physicians, orthopedic surgeons, sports medicine doctors, school nurses, coaches, and of course, parents and players. It is important to be familiar with your sports medicine team before the start of the season. This will help you be prepared for any potential sports-related injuries.

More than 60 percent of organized athletic injuries happen at practice where the athlete is often away from their parents, statistics show. Parents need to know who will be responsible for contacting them in case of an injury and who can answer questions on follow up care.

Additionally, only 70 percent of secondary schools have athletic trainers as their first line of defense on the sports medicine team at practices and games. Parents need to be aware of whether that is the case at their child’s school. Schools without an athletic trainer may have a team doctor that visits once a week, a coach that assists with injury treatment, or an athletic director that calls parents with injuries. Schools may post this information on their website, but you can always call the school and inquire.

Learn more about CHKD’s sports medicine program. Our board-certified pediatric specialists offer complete care, from diagnosis and treatment to customized rehabilitation plans. We also offer physical therapy and injury prevention programs for active children and teens.

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About CHKD Sports Medicine

About CHKD Sports Medicine  CHKD's sports medicine program offers the most comprehensive care for your young athlete. From diagnosis and treatment to customized rehabilitation plans, we specialize in physical therapy and injury prevention programs for active children and teens. Our team is composed of pediatric orthopedic surgeons, sports medicine specialists, physician assistants, certified athletic trainers and pediatric sports medicine physical therapists.