Nearly 2.6 million children are seen in the ER every year due to sports related injuries. And as athletes get older, sports get more competitive and players end up pushing themselves harder. This, of course, puts them at a higher risk for injuries. We’ve put together a few ways to prevent sports injuries. Encourage your athletes to follow these easy sports safety tips to minimize injuries and keep them in the game!
If they are not wearing the gear properly, they might as well not wear it at all. Athletes should check that their equipment fits securely before using it on the field. Helmets should be snug and fastened, with no sign of cracks. Mouth guards should be replaced every season and stay in the players' mouth during the entire game.
Proper hydration is a commonly neglected aspect of an athlete's regimen. Dehydration can cause serious heat related illnesses. When severe, it can be life-threatening. Staying hydratedtaying hydrated is the key to fighting fatigue and prolonging endurance. Make sure your athletes are drinking before, during and after play.
Most penalties are put in place to prevent sports injuries. For example, in football, grabbing the face mask of another player is not only against the rules, but also dangerous. When all players know the rules and follow them, fewer injuries occur.
Warming up is a crucial way to prevent sports injuries. It reduces the risk of muscle strain, loosens the joints and increases blood flow to the muscles. Therefore, 5-10 minutes of light aerobic activity will gradually prepare the body for the main event.
It's never a good idea to jump right into or out of any physical activity. The overall goal of the cool down is to decrease activity to give the body a smooth transition into to a state of rest. Cooling down will prevent blood from pooling in the muscles, gradually reduce the heart rate, prevent fainting and reduce the blood lactic acid levels.
With the increased competition, especially in high school sports, it's very common for athletes to over-train and cause injuries. Furthermore, it's tempting for young athletes to "tough it out" and play through injuries. Talk to your athletes about recognizing symptoms for common sports injuries, especially concussions and extreme muscle pain.