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Remember those annoying and somewhat dull ‘parenting’ classes you were forced to take? The only reason most of us were even there was to tour the labor and delivery unit! At that time, I was not thinking about all the dangerous stuff my child would do or the amount of time I’d spend googling symptoms or posting in a Facebook group for medical advice. That’s one class I wish they’d add to that boring hospital course- how to handle an emergency situation with your kid. No one teaches you that. You have to learn on your own, sometimes in the midst of a scary situation! I’m an athletic trainer, and I can help. I want to help you be better prepared for these situations because trust me; they will happen.
I got lucky; athletic training chose me. And it happens, it comes easily for me, and I love it. Whats not to love about helping people at their most vulnerable moments?
What is athletic training?
Athletic training encompasses the prevention, examination, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of emergent, acute or chronic injuries and medical conditions. Athletic training is recognized by the American Medical Association (AMA), Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as an allied healthcare profession.
Who are athletic trainers?
Have you ever watched a football game on TV and seen those folks running out on the field when someone gets hurt? A few of those folks are Athletic Trainers. Who are athletic trainers? We’re highly qualified, multi-skilled health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to provide preventative services, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions. That’s the technical definition anyway; I’ve found that it can sometimes confuse and overwhelm folks. I usually say, “if your kid ever gets seriously hurt, you’d want me there.’
In my career, I’ve handled countless emergency situations, diagnosed a multitude of injuries, and helped my athletes go from sidelined back to playing. One of the cases that had the most significant impact on me happened eight years ago. At the time I was working for a small high school in Ohio. We had wrapped up football practice, and the youth league had started their games. I wasn’t supposed to be there, but I was chatting with the athletic director.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a young athlete go down. My instinct is to run anytime I see that happen. So I did. He got up and started running toward the sideline and collapsed again. Once I got to him, I realized he must’ve only been 7 or 8 years old. He was not conscious, but he was breathing and had a good pulse. This is where my education kicks in and I go almost into autopilot.
Long story short, we spine boarded this little guy and loaded him for EMS to take to the local hospital. On the way there, he crashed in the ambulance and was life flighted to a trauma center. Today he’s a happy, healthy young man with a bright future ahead of him and he has no lasting complications from the injury he sustained that night. I wasn’t supposed to be there. I’m glad I was, and his family was too.
All athletic trainers have these stories. The kids we help. The lives we saved. It’s scary and humbling at the same time. I’m lucky I chose to be an athletic trainer. It’s saved my oldest daughter more than once.
My girl had been having some trouble with allergies around 4mo old. She was really snotty. One evening I heard her coughing and gagging on some mucous over the baby monitor, and then I heard nothing. Silence. I jumped out of bed and went to check on her. She was choking on all the snot.
I knew what to do. Back blows. Nothing. More back blows. Nothing. She went limp in my arms. More back blows. Eventually, I got mucous out of her throat, and she started crying again. During this whole process, my husband was freaking out. Me? I was calm, cool, and collected. I knew what to do, and I did it. The ambulance came, and we ended up staying in the hospital for a few days to make sure another episode didn’t happen again.
If something similar happened at your house, would you know what to do? Could you step in and help your child?
I’m truly blessed that my career has carried over and helped me manage some pretty scary situations as a parent. But, I know that’s not the same for everyone. If dealing with first aid or potential emergencies that come with having kids makes your palms sweat and your heart race, you’re in the right place. I’m here to help you through that with some fun and information packed posts that will help you not only help you keep your kids safe, but also help you maintain your composure when chaos can turn to crisis.
Want to learn more about athletic trainers? Check out the National Athletic Trainer’s Association!
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