College Student Athletes & Health Care: 4 Things Parents & Students Need to Know! by Cindy Cooke, DNP, FNP-C, FAANP
While health is important for everyone, it’s doubly important for student athletes who have to be in top shape and to maintain their scholarships. Here are some tips for the student athlete in your life:
- Know the insurance game: The Affordable Care Act requires students to have insurance or pay a fine. But for those who choose to pay the fine, a school or athletic association like the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) might require players to have insurance to participate.
- Get a physical: Most athletic programs require students to get a physical and have their medical history up to date before participating in sports. Have your local nurse practitioner check off both.
- Have the right equipment: Safety, while playing or practicing, is critical to staying healthy. Always use proper safety equipment (helmets, pads, mouth guards and athletic equipment).
- Stay healthy by living healthy: Diet, sleep, stress, stretching and hydration – all of these are extra important for student athletes.
Coaches and trainers will probably have some guidelines for student athletes to stay in top shape, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) also has some helpful resources for student athletes to educate themselves on healthy living.