Fall sports have arrived and unfortunately some children will get injured when practicing sports. Having to bring a child to the emergency room, especially during the pandemic, is every parent’s nightmare. Therefore parents should discuss sport injury prevention with their children and also make sure that coaches do follow safe practices.
While almost any sport can be played during the fall, the most popular are football, soccer, lacrosse, cheer leading, cross country, field hockey, volleyball, basketball as well as tennis and golf. It is estimated that 7.8 million children participated in sport activities last year in the US. Unfortunately every year more than 1.3 million of them are seriously injured while playing sports. (see article in USA Today)
Fractures, strains, sprains, concussion, shin splints and patellofemoral syndrome are among the most common serious injuries sustained by young athletes.
Many of the serious sports injuries treated in Emergency Room Departments are predictable and preventable
To prevent sports injuries parents should first bring their child (or children) to their pediatrician for a full physical to make sure the child doesn’t have any limitation or problem that might make him or her susceptible to injuries while playing a specific type of sport. Many high school and middle schools do require it but even if they don’t parents should be proactive and have their kids checked.
In any type of sport proper warm up is key to prevent injuries. Light stretches and calisthenics will get the boy ready for any practice or game.
Cross-training is also a good way to prevent injury. Specializing in one sport activity can lead to specific areas of the body being over used and prone to injuries. Making sure that other parts of the body are strong as well by practicing different sports activities that uses different muscles at least once a week can help reduce the risk of injuries.
Check with the coaches that courts and fields are in good condition and make sure that your child is using high quality equipment especially when it comes to protective equipment.
Proper rest and a balanced diet are also important to prevent injuries and if your child is injured make sure he or she speak up about their pain and get sufficient rest.
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