Warmer weather is here and the spring sports season is just around the corner. Now’s the time to make sure your kids take the right precautions to avoid sports-related injuries.
In 2013, more than 1 million children ages 19 and under were seen in emergency departments for injuries related to 14 commonly played sports. Here are some tips to help you and your kids prevent injury:
1. Get a physical
Before playing organized sports, make sure your child receives a pre-participation physical exam, or PPE. This should be performed by a doctor or a nurse practitioner or qualified clinician under the supervision of a physician.
2. Stay hydrated
Bring a water bottle to practice and games. Encourage children to stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water before, during and after play.
Stretching before practice and games can release muscle tension and help prevent sports-related injuries, such as muscle tears or sprains. Make sure there is time set aside before every practice and game for athletes to warm up properly.
4. Take time off
Encourage kids to take time off from one sport to prevent overuse injuries. It is an opportunity to get stronger and develop skills learned in another sport.
5. Coaches, know your stuff
It’s also a good idea for coaches to get certified in first aid and CPR, learn the signs and symptoms of a concussion, and help avoid overuse injury by resting players during practices and games.