Spring is almost here! In many places, spring sports have already begun. All sports come with a risk of injury, but in most cases the benefits of playing sports outweigh the risks. Contact sports usually have a greater risk of a traumatic injury, but most injuries in young athletes are due to overuse. Sprains, strains, and stress fractures are the most frequent types of sports injuries. Sprains can be caused by injuries to ligaments, strains are injuries to muscles, and fractures are injuries to bones. Injuries can occur when excessive stress is placed on tendons, joints, bones, and muscles. Follow these safety tips from The American Academy of Pediatrics to help your athletes stay safe while playing sports:
- Wear the right gear. Athletes should wear the proper protective equipment for the sport they are playing such as pads, mouthpieces, helmets, protective cups, face guards, and eyewear.
- Strengthen muscles. Conditioning exercises during practice strengthen the muscles used to play sports.
- Increase flexibility. Incorporate stretching into a daily fitness plan. Stretching after games or practice can increase flexibility.
- Play it safe and use the proper technique. Following the rules and technique of the game can help prevent injuries.
- Take breaks– Rest periods during practice and games can reduce injuries and prevent heat illness.
- Don’t play through the pain. Playing through the pain can cause complications or make the injury worse. It is always a good idea to rest an injury and to have it examined by your Pediatrician.
- Remember to hydrate. Drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after exercise or play.
- Practice and encourage good sportsmanship. The pressure to win can put stress on your athlete. They should be rewarded for trying hard and showing good sportsmanship, rather than criticized for losing a game.
The goal of sports is always to have fun and learn lifelong physical skills! Following these tips can help keep your athlete healthy, happy, and in the game! If you have any questions or your child has unexplained pain or an injury, contact The Pediatric Center for help! We offer extended hours so we can be there for you and your athletes when you need us. We are open Monday-Friday from 8 AM-8 PM, Saturday from 9 AM-5PM, and Sunday from 1-5 PM. Give us a call at 208-523-3060 or click here to find us online.
Some content provided by healthychildren.org