What is High School RIO™?
High School RIO™ is the internet-based data collection tool used in the National High School Sports-Related Injury Surveillance Study. This study, currently the only surveillance study of all time-loss injuries in a national sample of US high school athletes, was first implemented during the 2005/06 academic year and has been maintained annually. First established as a high school correlate to the highly successful NCAA Injury Surveillance System, the National High School Sports-Related Injury Surveillance Study has evolved over time to best fulfill the needs of the high school sports community of student athletes, parents, pediatric sports medicine clinicians, high school athletic directors, local/state high school athletic associations/administrators and the NFHS (National Federation of State High School Associations).
High School RIO™ captures athletic exposure (number of athlete practices and number of athlete competitions per week), injury (body site, diagnosis, severity, etc) and injury event (mechanism, activity, position/event, field/court location, etc) data weekly throughout the academic year using certified athletic trainers (ATCs) as data reporters.
Dr. R. Dawn Comstock and her staff analyze this data to describe the rates, patterns and trends of high school sports-related injuries. Such epidemiologic analysis is the necessary first step toward the development, implementation and evaluation of evidence-based, targeted prevention programs to reduce the number and/or severity of injuries among high school athletes.
Stated more simply, by understanding the who, what, why, where and how of injuries, we can offer recommendations to make sports as safe as possible for student athletes. Thus, High School RIO™ data is used to encourage as many student athletes as possible to safely play sports which will in turn increase physical activity, improve physical fitness levels and lead to life-long healthy behaviors.
Who Supports High School RIO™ and The National High School Sports-Related Injury Surveillance Study?
This study is funded through a combination of sponsor sources including research grants and unrestricted research donations.
Dr. Comstock is grateful to these sponsors for their generous support of High School RIO™ and the National High School Sports-Related Injury Surveillance Study. Their contributions have allowed this important surveillance study to continue uninterrupted since 2005/06. Continuous maintenance of surveillance systems over time is crucial as one of the most powerful uses of surveillance studies is the tracking of trends over time.