This summer Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt will be hosting a youth sport safety initiative that started 5 years ago. An estimated 3.5 million children and an additional 2 million high school students receive medical treatment for a sports-related injury each year and it is vital to make a concerted effort to reduce that number.

The Program for Injury Prevention in Youth Sports (PIPYS) is a nonprofit organization based out of the Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital and consists of a multidisciplinary team of dedicated medical center, university and wide-ranging community partners whose mission is to develop, evaluate and promote strategies to prevent youth sports related injuries and to protect the health of the pediatric athlete. Overuse and acute injuries, physical literacy, sudden cardiac arrest, nutrition and supplements, heat-related injury, concussion, hazing, emergency preparedness and violence against women and children are just a few of the key topics addressed through research, education and advocacy.

Sports are important for children to develop fitness and strength, build self-esteem and confidence and learn to be part of a team. It’s not a zero risk endeavor, but the benefits outweigh the risks. Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt is working to find better ways to let kids do what they love.

They will be hosting a national youth sports safety conference on July 14th, 2017 here in Nashville, TN at the Vanderbilt Recreation Center (indoor practice facility). Confirmed keynote speakers for the conference include Dr. Brian Hainline (chief medical officer of the NCAA), Dr. Avery Faigenbaum (a world leader on health, fitness and athleticism in children and adolescents and author of International Olympic Committee paper on same topic) and Ali Flury (Safe Kids Worldwide Sports Safety Program Manager). The conference will be geared not only for all levels of healthcare professionals but also coaches, teachers, athletics administrators, community organizations and parents. They are expecting around 250 in attendance.

The evening prior to the conference, they will be hosting a Youth Sports Safety Gala on July 13th. The gala is a celebration of all the right things about youth sports and will include dinner, a prominent keynote speaker, live music from several country music artists, a silent auction and an awards presentation including a proclamation from the Governor of Tennessee, Bill Haslam, honoring our work and declaring it Youth Sports and Physical Fitness Week in Tennessee. This is the 3rd year they are hosting this national event. The previous gala keynote speaker was United States Marine Corps General Richard Mills and Charlie Mattos from WSM & voice of Vanderbilt Women’s Basketball will emcee the event again.

For additional information you can go to their website at www.childrenshospital.vanderbilt.org/sportssafety and click on the conference link. Registration for attendees and conference materials should be available in about 2 weeks.

Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt is nationally recognized as a leading provider of pediatric health care services. By serving more than 1,400 children daily, experts treat and work to prevent all health issues ranging from common childhood conditions to serious, advanced diseases. In addition, Children’s Hospital is a top-level teaching and research facility. Patients come from across the nation to receive the hospital’s highly specialized services and as a nonprofit organization, the hospital cares for children from Tennessee and across the county regardless of their ability to pay.

They are excited to host what is shaping up to be one of the leading youth sports safety conferences and events in the country and your involvement would be invaluable. If you need more info, please call Alex at 615-289-9129.

Read the PIPYS letter.