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Recommendations made to prevent sudden death in high school sports

Meeting in Las Vegas, a task force for the National Athletic Trainers' Assn. has made recommendations in an attempt to prevent "sudden death in secondary school athletics programs."

Among the recommendations:

Create an emergency action plan in collaboration with coaches, trainers and campus safety official.

Have athletic trainers on staff.

Ensure that athletes acclimatize to training demands and that conditioning should be phased in graduaally.

Concussions should be assessed with a comprehensive evaluation tool.

An annual brain and spine safety education program and in-season check-ups should be conducted for all athletes.

Before the season begins, all teams should follow a heat acclimatization program.

Water must be made available and placed at key locations on the field for players to drink quickly and freely during practice.

Athletes should undergo cardiovascular screenings before participating in competitive activities.

The complete statement is available at this link.

-- Eric Sondheimer

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