Preventing Youth Sports Injuries
- Enroll your child in organized sports through schools, community clubs, and recreation areas where there may be adults who are certified athletic trainers (ATC). An ATC is also trained in the prevention, recognition and immediate care of athletic injuries.
- Review the Parent's Checklist for Spring Sports to help ensure a safe and healthy playing environment for their children who participate in organized sports
- Make sure your child uses the proper protective gear, such as mouth guards or eye protection for a particular sport. This may lessen the chances of being injured.
- Warm up Before Exercise. This can help minimize the chance of muscle strain or other soft tissue injury during sports. Warm up exercises make the body's tissues warmer and more flexible.
- Wear sunscreen and a hat (where possible) to reduce the chance of sunburn, which is actually an injury to the skin.
- Stay properly hydrated while playing.
- Know the warning signs of a serious injury
- Treat Injuries with R.I.C.E.
- Rest. Reduce or stop using the injured area for 48 hours. If you have a leg injury, you may need to stay off of it completely.
- Ice. Put an ice pack on the injured area for 20 minutes at a time, 4 to 8 times per day. Use a cold pack, ice bag, or a plastic bag filled with crushed ice that has been wrapped in a towel.
- Compression. Compression of an injured ankle, knee, or wrist may help reduce the swelling. These include bandages such as elastic wraps, special boots, air casts and splints. Ask your doctor which one is best.
- Elevation. Keep the injured area elevated above the level of the heart. Use a pillow to help elevate an injured limb.
Common Childhood Sports Injuries
A strain is an injury to either a muscle or a tendon. A muscle is a tissue composed of bundles of specialized cells that, when stimulated by nerve impulses, contract and produce movement. A tendon is a tough, fibrous cord of tissue that connects muscle to bone.More Kids Developing Overuse Sports Injuries
Playing rigorous sports in the heat requires close monitoring of both body and weather conditions. Heat injuries are always dangerous and can be fatal. Children perspire less than adults and require a higher core body temperature to trigger sweating. Heat-related illnesses include dehydration (deficit in body fluids), heat exhaustion (nausea, dizziness, weakness, headache, pale and moist skin, heavy perspiration, normal or low body temperature, weak pulse, dilated pupils, disorientation, fainting spells), and heat stroke (headache, dizziness, confusion, and hot dry skin, possibly leading to vascular collapse, coma, and death) These injuries can be prevented.
Tips for Exercising Safely in Hot Weather
- Recognize the dangers of playing in the heat.
- Respond quickly if heat-related injuries occur.
- Schedule regular fluid breaks during practice and games.
- Drinking water is the best choice; others include fruit juices and sports drinks.
- Kids need to drink 8 ounces of fluid every 20 minutes, plus more after playing.
- Make player substitutions more frequently in the heat.
- Wear light-colored, "breathable" clothing, and wide-brimmed hats
- Use misting water sprays on the body to keep cool.