What is the Athletic Trainers Program?

athletic_trainers_180x220 Seattle Children's Athletic Trainers Program provides healthcare professionals to sporting events for young athletes in the greater Puget Sound area. The athletic trainers work with kids, teens, coaches and parents. They encourage children to take part in an active lifestyle and strive to keep young athletes in the game by making sure they're well prepared for activity and by properly treating injuries.

What should I know about Seattle Children's athletic trainers?

All of our athletic trainers:

  • Hold degrees from accredited programs, have passed the Board of Certification exam for athletic trainers and have expertise working with young athletes.
  • Design their programs to meet the unique needs of young athletes. They recommend age-appropriate training, teach proper technique and use clear, understandable language to educate children about sports and related health issues.
  • Work to protect the best interest of the children they serve. Serving as liaisons between student-athletes and their coaches, athletic trainers help ensure that the athletes' health comes first.
  • Help Seattle Children's provide a full circle of service. They evaluate and care for injuries on site, provide information about at-home care, refer athletes and parents for additional care (such as from providers in our Orthopedics and Sports Medicine department) and follow up to check that athletes are recovering well.

Certified Athletic Trainers in High Schools

Seattle Children’s has 29 athletic trainers that provide coverage to 27 public and private schools across the Puget Sound area. They work with 300 to 800 athletes at each school during each sports season (fall, winter and spring), as well as during the pre- and post-season. Their services include:

  • Emergency care and treatment
  • Injury prevention, assessment, care and rehabilitation
  • Education about sports safety and nutrition
  • Sport-specific training and conditioning programs
  • Referrals if medical care is needed

An athletic trainer provides medical care at every home meet for wrestling and gymnastics. They also attend every home and away varsity football game, as well as some events for other sports.

Evaluating any injuries that occur during play is one of the most important functions athletic trainers perform. They provide immediate treatment and refer teens and parents for additional care when needed. The athletic trainers are part of the Seattle Sports Concussion Program. They determine whether an athlete has a concussion and when they can safely return to play.

Athletic Trainers' Outreach Activities

Our athletic trainers take part in many community health fairs where they work with children and teens. They're also available on a fee-for-service basis to cover a wide range of athletic activities for kids and teens. Our athletic trainers provide medical coverage at regional sporting events and at sports camps. The athletic trainers tailor their services to the specific needs of the participants at each of these events.

Seattle Children's Athletic Performance Enhancement Programs

These week-long clinics are designed to help middle- and high-school student-athletes avoid injuries and increase their overall athletic performance. They teach kids about core stability, proper sports technique and strength and conditioning mechanics. They also promote life-long physical activity and healthy eating habits. For more information, call 206-987-5045.

ImPACT baseline testing: Pre-concussion testing for youth athletes

These sessions are ideal for teens 13 and older who are interested in taking a baseline ImPACT test. ImPACT stands for Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing. It is a research-based computerized test developed to help healthcare providers deliver more comprehensive care to an athlete following a concussion.

Medical coverage

For information about how our athletic trainers can provide medical coverage at your sporting events for kids and teens, please contact Tilden Keller at 206-987-5094 or by email.

Contact Us

To find out more about the Athletic Trainers Program, contact Erik Mortenson in the Orthopedics and Sports Medicine department at 206-987-5045 or by email.