Preventing Sports Injuries for Young Athletes
For young athletes, sports are more than just playing around. Participation in organized sports improves physical fitness and provides valuable opportunities to learn discipline, teamwork and sportsmanship.
But because kids are still growing, they're at a greater risk of injury than adults. However, there are several strategies that coaches, parents and athletes can use to help prevent injuries:
- Have a sports physical with your doctor to make sure you’re in appropriate condition to play.
- Know and follow the rules of the game.
- Wear appropriate protective gear like helmets, pads or shin guards.
- Know how to correctly use and adjust your equipment.
- Always warm up before playing and stretch afterwards.
- Stay hydrated, especially during hot weather.
- Avoid playing when very tired or injured.
- Stop playing if there's the possibility of a head injury and get evaluated by a medical professional immediately.
Coaches and parents can help prevent injuries by encouraging healthy competition that emphasizes confidence, cooperation and a positive self-image.
If you have questions about preventing sport injuries for young athletes, talk with your child’s pediatrician for additional strategies.