Jul 12, 2017
Safety Stars

Youth sports leagues in Tennessee are setting a new standard for safety reporting. A new system incorporates bronze, silver, and gold ratings that indicate the level of safety steps leagues have taken.

“It not only raises the bar,” Alex Diamond, DO, MPH, Assistant Professor of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, and Pediatric Sports Medicine Physician at Vanderbilt University, told FOX-17 News (Nashville, Tenn.). “It sets the bar for the country. This is the first program of its kind.”

The Safe Stars Initiative outlines the steps that must be taken for each rating level. In order to receive a bronze rating, a league needs to have an emergency action plan, training for staff to recognize and manage concussion and sudden cardiac arrest incidents, and background checks for coaches, along with other requirements that include having an automated external defibrillator on site. The silver star and gold star ratings include additional steps, such as performing safety checks on all athletic equipment, implementing preparticipation physical examinations, or having a medical professional on site for all games.

This program is intended to provide parents a way of making decisions about sports leagues. This program is also aimed at reducing the number of injuries that occur in youth sports.

“We know sports are a wonderful thing for kids,” said Dr. Diamond. “It provides physical activity and confidence and health and well-being. There are risks, but a lot of those risks we can mitigate.”

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