Parents in North Carolina now have a lot more to cheer about than a big win on the field.
The Korey Stringer Institute recently ranked the Tar Heel State as the safest in the country for high school athletes.
The study looked at state laws and what schools do to prevent catastrophic injury.
Matthew Triche, the head athletic trainer for New Hanover County Schools, said more focus on concussions and preventing head injuries is vital to keeping athletes safe.
“The kids report it more now," Triche said. "They have to have a form that the parents and the students and the coaches and even athletic trainers have to read just to state that we are understanding everything.”
New Hanover County has even stricter policies in the state. Triche said he knows it can be tedious at times, but the rules are there to protect the players.
"I know it can be a little more strenuous on a family because they have to go through a lot more," he said. "You know, doctors’ visits and procedures. But in the end, they usually realize why it’s important, ad they’re pretty thankful about it.”
Lawrence Dixon's grandson plays football for New Hanover High School. As a former athlete, he has seen a change in the way injuries are treated.
“At one time, we didn’t have the technology and the trainers to help them go through their pain and suffering, but now we have so much more," Dixon said.
Triche wants parents to know trainers are doing all they can to keep athletes safe.
“We will follow protocol, and we will do everything best to make sure your kid is not going to put himself in harm's way for the current time or even his future down the road," Triche said.
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