The good news is high school sports injuries are decreasing, according to a study released this year by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. The bad news is the severity of those injuries are getting worse. As fall seasons get underway, Native trainers are responding to new awareness of the dangers of life-long injuries from high school sports. Young athletes could encounter serious injuries including concussions, broken bones, ruined joints, and even anxiety and other mental health problems. The one-time advice to “walk it off” is replaced with sophisticated attention to long-term health.
John Sunchild (Chippewa Cree from Rocky Boy Reservation), athletic trainer