Are high school athletes in Oklahoma safe enough?

Members of the House of Representatives Committee on Public Health will hear from the Oklahoma Athletic Trainers Association and others next Tuesday at the State Capitol as part of an interim study proposed by Rep. Dan Kirby, R-Broken Arrow, to explore putting athletic trainers on the sidelines at more sporting events.

“This study is an opportunity to discuss the prevention of injuries and deaths among our kids at their athletic events,” Kirby said in a news release. “In order to keep our kids more safe and prevent serious injuries, I would like to find a way to fund or make available the use of athletic trainers at high school sporting events.”

The OATA and its national governing body, the National Athletic Trainers Association, as well as the State Board of Health and the American Medical Association, strongly encourage the presence of a licensed athletic trainer at all school athletic events.

In a study to be published this fall by the Korey Stringer Institute, Oklahoma ranks last in the nation with only 26 percent of high schools providing any access to athletic trainers.

John E. Hoover 918-581-8384

john.hoover@tulsaworld.com