SmartTeams™ Talk: Nationwide Children's MacDonald Urges Multi-Pronged Public Health Approach To Preventing Youth Sports Injuries

In a wide-ranging SmartTeams™ Talk, Dr. Jim MacDonald, a clinical professor at Ohio State and pediatric sports medicine specialist at Nationwide Children's Hospital, urges the adoption of a comprehensive approach to preventing youth sports injuries based on three proven public health strategies: (1)  working to change individual behavior, such as "thinking like Sweden" in setting as a goal zero youth sports injuries; (2) encouraging greater use of personal protective equipment shown to reduce injury risk, including properly fitted and maintained helmets, and the wearing of mouth guards and goggles in a wide range of sports; and (3) recognizing that a "if we build it, they will come" approach involving only education about ways to prevent youth sports injuries is not enough to change the cultural and physical environment of youth sports, but that active implementation of sports safety best practices is required, including more certified athletic trainers, not just in high school sports but at the middle school and youth level; doing a better job of getting high school and youth coaches to buy into injury prevention, and through programs such as MomsTEAM Institute's SmartTeamsTM program, which is designed not just to talk about best practices but to implement them at the grass roots level.

SmartTeams Talk: