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Active Voice: Navigating Health and Safety Policy Changes -- It Doesn't Always Have to be in Response to Tragedy

from By Kelly D. Pagnotta, M.A., ATC, PES and Douglas J. Casa, Ph.D., ATC, FACSM, FNATA

Viewpoints presented in SMB commentaries reflect opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect positions or policies of ACSM.

Kelly D. Pagnotta, M.A., ATC, PES is an athletic trainer at Bloomfield High School in Bloomfield, CT. She also is a doctoral student in the Neag School of Education and Chief Information Officer for the Korey Stringer Institute at the University of Connecticut in Storrs. Her research interests include preventing sudden death in sport through education and policy development. In addition to the secondary school setting, she has also worked at various mass-event medical tents.

Douglas J. Casa, Ph.D., ATC, FACSM, FNATA, is professor in the Department of Kinesiology, the University of Connecticut at Storrs. He also is Director of Athletic Training Education and Chief Operating Officer of the Korey Stringer Institute at the University of Connecticut.

This commentary presents Ms. Pagnotta’s and Dr. Casa’s views on the topic of the article which they and their colleagues published in the September/October 2013 issue of ACSM's
Current Sports Medicine Reports (CSMR).

Health and safety policies for athletics are a hot topic within the medical community, media and public. Concussion assessment and return-to-play, AED availability, coaching education, availability of athletic trainers (ATs), sickle cell testing, pre-participation exams and heat acclimatization are only some of the policies that could be used to reduce the risk associated with athletic participation. While heat acclimatization is one example, currently only 12 of 50 states have adopted heat acclimatization guidelines for high school sports (for details, see Korey Stringer Institute website) that follow Inter-Association Task Force Pre-Season guidelines (see NATA website). more

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