High School Sports

Kentucky the second-safest state to play high school sports, new study finds

Pre-practice huddle as the Tates Creek football team took advantage of cooler evening temperatures for practice on Wednesday July 20, 2016 in Lexington, Ky.
Pre-practice huddle as the Tates Creek football team took advantage of cooler evening temperatures for practice on Wednesday July 20, 2016 in Lexington, Ky. mcornelison@herald-leader.com

Kentucky is one of the safest states for high-school athletes, according to a recent study by the University of Connecticut.

UConn’s Korey Stringer Institute established a series of polices regarding the best practices regarding prevention and treatment of the top causes related to sudden death and catastrophic injury in high school athletes: head and neck injuries, exertional heat stroke, sudden cardiac arrest and exertional sickling. Kentucky was the second-safesty state, behind North Carolina, based on its findings.

“A rubric was created in which each state was assessed based on five equally weighted sections pertaining to sudden cardiac arrest, traumatic head injuries, exertional heat stroke, appropriate medical coverage, and emergency preparedness,” according to the institute’s website. “Current evidence-based best practices from the Interassociation Task Force for Preventing Sudden Death in Secondary School Athletics published in the Journal of Athletic Training in 2013 were used to form the content of the grading rubric.”

North Carolina’s grade was 78.75 percent while Kentucky’s was 71.13; the median score was 47.1. Massachusets (67.40), New Jersey (67.03) and South Dakota (60.58) rounded out the top five.

More than 7.8 million high school students participated in athletics in the last school year in the United States. From 1982 to 2015, 735 high-school athletes died from direct or indirect causes while playing sports, and 626 other athletes suffered catastrophic injuries.

Star Ifeacho, a boys’ basketball player at Paul Laurence Dunbar, collapsed during an open gym and later died on April 26. A July report said that there was a “significant delay” in the use of an automated external defibrillator on Ifeacho that day.

Click here to read more about the Korey Stringer Institute’s study on state high school sports safety policies.

Josh Moore: 859-231-1307, @HLpreps

  Comments