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Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida

Tips to Prevent Youth Sports Injuries

Tips to Prevent Youth Sports Injuries
“Know the signs of concussion and, if suspected, immediately remove the child from play until he or she can be evaluated by a medical professional.

As children prepare to participate in summer sport camps or leagues, there are simple things parents and coaches can do to help reduce preventable injuries, including:

Prepare kids before playing a sport

  • Make sure your child receives a pre-participation physical exam (PPE).
  • Share contact information, doctor information, medical conditions or allergies with the coach. Warm up and stretch
  • Prevent injury by making sure your child takes 10 minutes for light activity and stretches, holding all major muscle groups for 20-30 seconds.
  • Warming up and stretching before practice and games helps prevent muscle tears and sprains.

Hydrate

  • Bring a water bottle to practice and have your child drink water before, during and after play.
  • Make sure your child drinks water 30 minutes before the activity and every 15-20 minutes during the activity.
  • Coaches should provide mandatory fluid breaks and not wait for athletes to ask for water.

Wear appropriate safety equipment

  • Always use properly fitted sports gear.

Be observant

  • Know the signs of concussion and, if suspected, immediately remove the child from play until he or she can be evaluated by a medical professional. Incurring a second concussion before the brain has time to recover from a previous concussion can lead to a catastrophic injury and permanent brain damage.

Remember to rest

  • The body recovers and grows stronger when given a chance to rest after strenuous activity.
  • Overuse injuries—like sprains, fractures, and tendon and ligament damage—often are the result of not getting enough rest.
  • Encourage players to tell coaches of pain, injury or illness.
  • Kids should have one or two days off from a particular sport each week.
  • Children should get 10 consecutive weeks rest from a particular sport per year—let them participate in a different sport or activity during that time.

Specific tips for coaches:

  • Establish safety guidelines and make safety a priority.
  • Get certified in CPR and first aid, and have a first aid kit available for practices and games.

Visit www.SafeKids.org/sports for more tips and resources on youth sport safety.

Visit the “Play it Safe” stations at the Florida High School Athletic Association’s Championship Baseball games, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., May 14 at jetBlue Park

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