Prevent Serious Injuries by Licensing Athletic Trainers

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Preston Plevretes was 19 years old football player when his life was permanently altered. The negligence from his athletic trainer leaves him unable to walk, talk and eat on his own today. One day at practice, Preston experienced a head to head collision, which resulted in him suffering from a concussion. After the weekend, Plevretes still had lingering symptoms and went to see his on campus athletic trainer; however, his trainer had cleared him to play. At his next game, Preston experienced another head to head collision and suffered from second impact syndrome. Now 32 years of age, Preston gives speeches to educate others about the importance of treating concussions. Help prevent irreversible injuries.

Kids always want to go back into the game and rarely want to rest in the middle of the game. However the drive to play, regardless if they had suffered from injuries, leads to miscommunications between the athletic trainer. In fact, there was a study that claims that 50% of concussions go unreported. 

Incompetent care puts students at risk for misdiagnosed injuries that could lead to more severe issues if not treated properly. Currently, the state of California does not require any form of legislation for athletic trainers to be "qualified" besides general recurring first aid, a bachelor's degree, and CPR.

Licensing athletic trainers is necessary to protect student athletes. Injuries such as second impact syndrome (a traumatic and irreversible brain injury), ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tears, spinal injuries, and more could be prevented if faulty care is not administered to students. Second impact syndrome is the rapid swelling of the brain due to a secondary trauma exacerbated by a improperly treated brain trauma. 

Tommy Mallon is another example of a severely injured athlete; however his story is much more positive than Preston's. When he was attending Santa Fe Christian High School as a lacrosse athlete, he experienced a spinal cord injury in C1, one of the worst possible places to have a serious injury. Thankfully today he is alive because his athletic trainer insisted he did not return to play and sent him to the hospital where his doctors learned that he had broken a part of his neck. Though Tommy can no longer play contact sports, he worked with his mother to create an advocacy program called Advocates for Injured Athletes, where he expresses the importance of having qualified athletic trainers.

NATA (National Athletic Trainer Association) and CATA (California Athletic Trainer Association) are two organizations who have consistently been pushing for a law to be passed; however, none have been fulfilled. Valiant efforts from these organizations have gotten great checkpoints such as Hit the Hill Day and Assembly Bill 3110, which is still in hearing. 

Let's come together and take action! Present your concern to Senator Kansen Chu and Assembly Member Evan Low. These two honorable men are chairmen for Assembly Bill 3110 and can make a change for the student athletes. Currently people are not doing anything, and we must take a stand against this.

I am a seventeen year old student in Southern California and acquiring licensure is crucial to preventing more serious injuries. Athletic trainers are not the problem, student athletes getting injured are not the problem, coaches are not the problem; the problem lies within the government. I do not have the ability to vote yet, but some of you do. You have the power to change the legislation in California. If you are a student athlete, a parent of a student athlete, or even an athletic trainer, please sign this petition to put pressure on the California government for a change in legislation. Thank you.

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