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Helping Parents Understand Sports Safety


Sports-related injury awareness is important for parents no matter the age of their child. The American Heart Association and the NFL have created the Back to Sports program that offers seminar resources for certified athletic trainers to educate their own communities about sport safety and youth wellness.

Even Elementary School Parents Need to Learn About Concussions

Michelle Godek is an athletic trainer for Lake Health in Concord, Ohio, providing training support for Lake County and Ashtabula County high schools.

Earlier this year, she was also PTA president at nearby Brentmoor Elementary School.

Through both of these roles, Godek led a presentation in February 2016 for local parents to talk through facts about sports health and safety. She covered concussions, prevention of dehydration, proper responses to cardiac arrest, and the prevention of overuse injuries.

It was part of the Back to Sports program offered jointly through the American Heart Association and the NFL.

Godek told the News Herald in northeastern Ohio:

"I wanted to be able to present it at the elementary school level because, most of the time, these (programs) are being presented initially at secondary schools."

Sports-related injury awareness, she told the paper, is important—no matter the age of a child.

Getting in Front of Parents

The Back to Sports program launched in 2014.

Last year, 100 athletic trainers participated—each receiving a kit of materials and resources once they've applied for a Back to Sports "mini-grant."

"It's a great way to educate parents," says Jeff Miller, the NFL's Executive Vice President of Health and Safety.

"It's a great way to encourage kids to be more active," he says, "and it's a great way to get these athletic trainers in front of parents to demonstrate their expertise in sports safety."