Can High School Athletes Participate in Sports While Wearing A Cast?
Each year, millions of high schoolers participate in sports at their school. Participating in sports can be very beneficial for students. You likely already know they can increase their self-esteem, create long-lasting friendships, and build character. However, participating in sports also comes with the risk of experiencing a sports-related injury. Studies show that 90 percent of student-athletes report an injury during their time playing. Sometimes, these injuries require a cast in order to properly heal.
When student-athletes get injured and get a cast put on, they, their parents, and their coaches are often concerned with the timeline to which they will be able to return to the sport and compete. However, just because they have a cast does not automatically mean that they are unable to participate and will spend most if not all of the season on the sideline. In this blog, we are going to review some factors to help determine whether high school athletes can participate in sports.
The Severity and Location Of An Injury
The severity of an injury and its location will determine whether or not a student-athlete is able to participate in a sport. Of course, if an athlete breaks an ankle, foot, or leg, and is involved in a sport that requires running or using the affected areas — which most high school athletics do — the chances of them being able to play are highly unlikely, nor is it recommended by healthcare professionals. However, other injuries, such as broken arms, hands, or wrists, do not affect your ability to run or participate in the activity.
If an injury and cast still allow an athlete to function properly and participate in a sport, before doing so, they first need to get approval from a medical professional. A doctor will be able to better examine your injury and determine whether or not it is a good idea to participate in the sport. Again, the sport the athlete is involved in will have an influence on the doctor’s decision. Typically, if the doctor believes the injury will not affect the athlete’s ability to participate, they will provide them with a note of clearance.
In the end, the school guidelines will determine whether or not a student-athlete wearing a cast is able to participate. According to guidelines set by the National Federation of State High School Associations, athletes with uncovered hand and arm casts are unable to participate due to the risk of injury to other players. The hardness of a cast presents a threat to the other athletes competing. However, the guidelines also state that in order for injured athletes to participate, any casts, splints, and braces must be padded with at least ½” of all closed-cell, slow-recovery rubber, or another material of the same minimum thickness and similar physical properties. In order to be cleared to play, the protective equipment or cast padding must cover any hard material. Additionally, athletes often require written authorization from a medical doctor in order to be able to compete in an event.
As long as injured athletes can still move and function, get written authorization and comply with NFSA guidelines, they should be able to participate in sports.
Get Back In The Game With The Cast Protector
The NFSA is strict when it comes to participating in sports while wearing a cast. As mentioned, casts must be covered with a cast padding that has least ½” of all closed-cell, slow-recovery rubber, or a similar material. The Cast Protector is one of the few cast covers that comply with NFSA guideline requirements. It protects the other players from the hard cast or splint of the wearer. The Cast Protector Has been approved in various sports. To get an injured athlete you know back in the game, order the Cast Protector today.