Spring has sprung and for many that means outdoor sports are about to begin! April is National Youth Sports Safety Month and a great opportunity to bring awareness to keeping our kids safe when playing sports.
Did you know?
- 1.3 million children, 19 and under, were seen in the ER for a sports-related injury.
- 90% of sports-related concussions occur without loss of consciousness.
- More than 38 million children participate in sports each year in the United States.
- One in three children who plays a team sport is injured seriously enough to miss practice or games.
- Girls are up to eight times more likely to have an ACL injury than boys.
- Most organized sports-related injuries (62 percent) occur during practice rather than in games.
- The most common types of sports-related injuries among children are sprains, muscle strains, bone or growth plate injuries, repetitive motion injuries, and heat-related illness.
Preventing sports injuries should be a priority for parents, coaches, and the young athletes. Here are five important tips from Safekids.org for preventing sports-related injuries:
- Before playing organized sports, make sure young athletes receive a pre-participation physical exam, or PPE, by a doctor. This can help rule out any potential medical conditions that may place kids at risk.
- Bring a water bottle to practice and games. Encourage children to stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water before, during and after play.
- Stretching before practice and games can make a big difference by releasing muscle tension and helping prevent sports-related injuries, such as muscle tears or sprains. Make sure there is time set aside before every practice and game for athletes to warm up properly.
- An off-season is important, too. It is recommended that kids get 10 consecutive weeks of rest from any one sport every year. Playing different sports throughout the year is OK.
- Coaches should be certified in first aid and CPR, learn the signs and symptoms of a concussion and help avoid overuse injury by resting players during practices and games.