The Washington Post

Athletic trainers would help

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I read with interest and concern the April 25 Metro article describing Baltimore’s response to the tragic death of a high school football player from a head injury, “Baltimore agrees to $345,000 settlement in death of high school athlete.” In response to this tragedy, Baltimore correctly decided to begin hiring athletic trainers at high schools.

I was the orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist associated with a similar program that responded to a tragedy that resulted in the hiring of athletic trainers at D.C. public high schools in 1991. Unfortunat­ely, in contrast to D.C. and now Baltimore, Montgomery County is one of the few counties that has not hired athletic trainers at high schools.

Athletic trainers are the medical providers who are specially trained to provide front-line, first responder athletic health care, and almost all sports medicine organizati­ons recommend full-time athletic trainers for all high schools. Studies have shown that besides aiding in the prevention and treatment of serious athletic injuries, the presence of athletic trainers lowers the risk of all injuries, including minor injuries.

I hope Montgomery County decides to hire full-time athletic trainers for its high schools before a similar and needless tragedy forces it to do so.

Kenneth Fine, Potomac

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