Summer is almost over and the return to school and fall sports are only weeks away. No one wants to see their child injured, but most want to support them playing sports and the pursuit of play. Especially with recent concerns about permanent damage in heavy contact sports like football, there are a lot more concerns for injury. Just like parents, we want to reduce the number of kids being sidelined from sports-related injuries. We’ve pulled together a list to help parents, coaches and young athletes to help prevent common sports injuries.
- Take time off. It’s been suggested that at least 1 day off per week and at least one month off per year from training for a particular sport to allow the body to recover more readily.
- Pay attention to weather conditions such as wet, slippery fields that can lead to injuries.
- Wear the appropriate equipment. It’s important to have the necessary gear, but do not assume that protective gear will prevent all injuries while performing more dangerous or risky athletics.
- Provide a healthy, well-balanced diet.
- Have a pre-season physical exam and listen to your doctor’s recommendations.
- Condition muscles.
- Increase flexibility. Stretching exercises before and after games or practice can increase flexibility.
- Take breaks. Rest periods during practice and games can reduce injuries and prevent heat illness.
- Play safe. Strict rules against headfirst sliding (baseball and softball), and spearing (football), and checking in hockey should be enforced.
- No pain no gain is the wrong attitude. Stop and investigate if there is pain and see your doctor.
- Avoid the pressure to over-train.
- Emphasize hydration by drinking a ton of fluids before, during and after exercise or play.
Signs You Should See a Professional For Your Injury
- Consistently have pain during or after sports
- Persistent or new swelling around a joint
- Recurrent instability – joints “give way”
- Painful pops (nonpainful pops are OK)
- Pain that does not respond to a period of rest
Did you know?
- More than 46.5 million children participate in sports each year in the United States.
- One in three children who plays a team sport is injured seriously enough to miss practice or games.
- Approximately 881,700 football-related injuries occurred in kids 5-18 years old
- Nearly 434,000 were treated for soccer injuries
- 99,884 were treated for cheerleading-related injuries
- More than 94,000 for volleyball related injuries
- Girls are up to eight times more likely to have an ACL injury than boys
- Most organized sports-related injuries (62 percent) occur during practice rather than in games.
- The most common types of sports-related injuries among children are sprains, muscle strains, bone or growth plate injuries, repetitive motion injuries and heat-related illness.
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