Summary statement: appropriate medical care for the secondary school-aged athlete

J Athl Train. Jul-Aug 2008;43(4):416-27. doi: 10.4085/1062-6050-43.4.416.


Objective: To present the recommendations made by the Appropriate Medical Care for Secondary School-Aged Athletes Task Force and to summarize the subsequent monograph developed around 11 consensus points.

Data sources: The MEDLINE, CINAHL, and SportDiscus databases were searched for relevant literature regarding secondary school-aged athletes; health care administration; preparticipation physical examination; facilities; athletic equipment; emergency action planning; environmental conditions; recognition, evaluation, and treatment of injuries; rehabilitation and reconditioning; psychosocial consultation; nutrition; and prevention strategies.

Conclusions and recommendations: Organizations that sponsor athletic programs for secondary school-aged athletes should establish an athletic health care team to ensure that appropriate medical care is provided to all participants. The 11 consensus points provide a framework-one that is supported by the medical literature and case law-for the development of an athletic health care team and for assigning responsibilities to the team, administrators, and staff members of institutions sponsoring secondary school and club-level athletic programs.

Keywords: adolescents; athletic injuries; high schools; safety.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Athletic Injuries / prevention & control
  • Athletic Injuries / therapy*
  • Female
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Physical Examination
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Schools*
  • Sports*