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Safe Stars Initiative

The Safe Stars initiative recognizes youth sports leagues throughout Tennessee for providing the highest level of safety for their young athletes. Safe Stars consists of three levels – gold, silver, and bronze. We implement policies around topics such as concussion education, weather safety and injury prevention.

Safe Stars’ goal is to provide resources and opportunities for every youth sports league to enhance their safety standards. A committee of health professionals dedicated to reducing youth sports injuries developed the criteria for achieving Sate Star recognition.

Safe Stars standards

To reach Bronze Star recognition, a league must adhere to the following safety standards:

  • Emergency Action Plan (EAP) / Team emergency contacts (specific plan and practiced annually)
  • Background checks completed on all coaches
  • Minimum of 2 coaches CPR/AED certified (one always present)
  • AED on site for all practices and games
  • All coaches trained in concussion and sudden cardiac arrest recognition/management
  • Severe weather policy (including heat and lightning)
  • Anaphylaxis and Allergy Emergency plan

Standards for Silver Star (Choose 2) and Gold Star (choose 4) Levels also include:

  • Pre-participation Physical Examination (PPE) required
  • Risk and safety information/policies relayed to parents/guardians
  • All coaches complete additional health, safety and injury prevention training
  • All athletic equipment undergoes safety checks
  • Medical professional (ATC, first responder, etc.) on site for all games
  • Medical professional (ATC, first responder, etc.) on site for all practices
  • ALL coaches CPR/AED certified
  • On site tobacco policy / “Young Lungs at Play”
  • Promote positive culture and standard of expectations regarding behavior

Safe Stars is a free and voluntary initiative in which all youth sports leagues can participate.

To become a Safe Stars League, visit the Tennessee Department of Health website to apply.

Safe Stars is a partnership with Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, Vanderbilt Sports Medicine and the Tennessee Department of Health.

For more information contact Rachel Heitmann at (615) 741-0368, or email safestars.health@tn.gov.

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