Sports – Injury Prevention

 J.C. Leyendecker  Boys Playing Baseball (1915)


J.C. Leyendecker
Boys Playing Baseball (1915)

Young athletes today are bigger and stronger, and they push themselves harder than ever before

10 injury prevention tips to help keep your young athlete on the field rather than on the sidelines:

1. Talk with your young athlete.

Make sure your young athlete understands that he or she should talk with you and seek help if experiencing a pain or something that just doesn’t feel right.

2. Get a preseason physical.

A preseason or back-to-school physical is a great way to determine if your young athlete is fit to play.

3. Encourage cross-training

It’s important for athletes to change the sports or activities they are doing so they are not continuously putting stress on the same muscles and joints. Parents should consider limiting the number of teams their athlete is on at any given time and changing up the routine regularly so that the same muscles are not continuously overused.

4. Stress the importance of warming up.

Stretching is an important prevention technique that should become habit for all athletes before starting an activity or sport.

5. Make sure they rest.

Athletes of all ages need to rest between practices, games and events. A lack of sleep and muscle fatigue predispose an athlete to injury,

6. Provide a healthy, well-balanced diet.

It’s important for athletes to eat a well-balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables and lean proteins, and to maintain a regular eating schedule.

7. Emphasize hydration.

Heat-related illness is a real concern for athletes, especially during hot and humid days. Parents should make sure their children have adequate water before, during and after play, and watch for any signs of a heat-related illness, including fatigue, nausea, vomiting, confusion or fainting.

8. Get the proper equipment.

Protective equipment, like helmets, pads and shoes, are very important for injury prevention. Parents should talk with coaches before the season starts so that they have adequate time to properly outfit their child before practices begin.

9. Emphasize proper technique and guidelines.

In every sport, there is a correct way and a wrong way of doing things. For example, football players should be taught the proper way to tackle an opponent to avoid a concussion, and baseball players should be taught the proper way to throw and follow the guidelines on how many throws to make in a day.

10. Recognize injury and get help early.

If parents notice that there is a change in their athlete’s technique, such as a limp when running, throwing differently or rubbing a leg during activity, they should pull the athlete out of play. If the problems persists, parents should seek an assessment for their child prior to returning to the activity. Athletes will alter the way they do things because of pain, but then they can end up with a more serious injury because of it.

When to see a doctor for your sports-related 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

10 Tips for Preventing Sports Injuries in Kids and Teen

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