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

Heat-Related Illness Symptoms and First Aid

A man and his dog on the Overhanging Rock in Yosemite National Park, May 1924

A man and his dog on the Overhanging Rock in Yosemite National Park, May 1924



Painful muscle cramps and spasms usually in legs and abdomen
Heavy sweating

First Aid:

Apply firm pressure on cramping muscles or gentle massage to relieve spasm.
Give sips of water, if nausea occurs, discontinue water



Heavy sweating
Cool, pale, clammy skin
Weak pulse
Possible muscle cramps
Nausea and vomiting
Normal temperature possible

First Aid:

Move person to a cooler environment
Remove or loosen clothing
Apply cool, wet cloths
Fan or move victim to air conditioned room
Offer sips of water. If nausea occurs, discontinue water. If vomiting continues, seek immediate medical attention.

HEAT STROKE (or sunstroke)


Altered mental state
Possible throbbing headache, confusion, nausea, dizziness, shallow breathing
High body temperature (106°F or higher)
Skin may be hot and dry, or patient may be sweating
Rapid pulse
Possible unconsciousness

First Aid:

Heat stroke is a severe medical emergency. Summon emergency medical assistance or get the victim to a hospital immediately. Delay can be fatal.
Move the victim to a cooler, preferably air-conditioned, environment
Reduce body temperature with a water mister and fan or sponging
Use fan if heat index temperatures are below the high 90s
Use extreme caution
If temperature rises again, repeat process
Do NOT give fluids

The Hazards of Excessive Heat

Heat Injury – How Hot Is Your Car?

The Beautiful Textured Art of “Sculpting with Paint” by Justin Gaffrey

The Beautiful Textured Art of “Sculpting with Paint” by Justin Gaffrey

In 10 minutes, a car can heat up 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cracking a window does little to keep the car cool.

With temperatures in the 60s, your car can heat up to well above 110 degrees.

A child’s body temperature can rise up to five times faster than an adult’s.

Heatstroke can happen when the temperature is as low as 57 degrees outside!

A child dies when his/her temperature reaches 107.

Leaving Kids Alone in Hot Cars —
Know the Risks and Consequences

Summertime – Keep Summer Fun

Joaquín Sorolla, Children on the Seashore, 1903

Joaquín Sorolla, Children on the Seashore, 1903

Summer fun is just around the corner and as kids start spending more time outside, parents should know all of sun safety basics; sunburn protection, how to choose a sunscreen, and how to treat burns.

Sun Safety

Water safety

Summer Safety

Sun Protection Clothing Basics


Skin Cancer Facts

New Sunscreen Labels

Travel – Traveling with Children


We are at the time of year for family vacation planning. Many of my parents ask when they should travel with their children. It is always hard to travel with your kids, but it can be a lot of fun with both good timing and planning.

Newborns are not good travelers, nor are their parents. The first 4-6 weeks after birth should be focused on the mom’s recovery from the pregnancy and delivery. I try to discourage travel prior to 4 months of age. Most of the first time parents do travel because of the excitement and the desire to share that excitement with friends and family.

Some simple tips: Fly if possible but all carry on must be things for the baby. Pay extra to stow your bags. Book direct flights early in the day. Avoid connecting flights if possible. It seems that there are always unexpected delays and missed connections. Always carry on extra clothes and twice as many diapers as you may anticipate. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen prior to travel may make discomfort due to air pressure a little more bearable. If you must travel by car consider renting a newer model car. Take an umbrella not just for rain but to avoid sun exposure if you are forced to stop for assistance. Always have water and food for the baby. Mix formula as you need it to avoid prolonged heat exposure to prepared formula. It will go bad and may make your infant ill.

traveling with children website from the CDC