26 BIG Ideas
The city's leaders in health, science, politics, food, and culture share their game-changing ideas for San Diego in 2016.
(page 21 of 26)
Let’s require San Diego’s athletic trainers to get certified before working with our kids.
Christina Scherr, Region 6 Director, California Athletic Trainers’ Association
If your son or daughter is a student athlete, heads up: California is the only U.S. state that does not require athletic trainers to have certification. Scherr and her organization recently tried to pass a bill that would require trainers to take a “rigorous national certification exam” and earn a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university program. “Despite unanimous, bipartisan approval in the state legislature,” she says, “the bill was vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown this past September.” Thankfully, more than 70 percent of the country’s certified trainers have at least a master’s degree—and by the year 2022, it will be a requirement. But in the meantime, ATs are providing emergency care and rehab in our schools, among other services, and their expertise is critical. It’s not just footballers who are at risk for injury. According to the American Journal of Sports Medicine, football results in the most concussions, followed by soccer and lacrosse. Student athletes are also in danger of spine, growth plate, and overuse injuries, as well as sudden cardiac arrest. What’s a parent to do? Scherr, who is the only trainer serving all 23 of Torrey Pines High School’s sports teams, advises: “Verify if your high school’s athletic trainer is actually certified by searching his or her name on bocatc.org. If the person is not a certified athletic trainer, contact your school district and ask why they haven’t made student athlete safety a priority.”