Fall sports are underway. Kids and teens are gearing up for football, cheering, hockey and a slew of other sports. Here are six ways to reduce injuries in youth sports. For more information, view this Sports Injury Prevention Tip Sheet
- Wear proper equipment: Find out what appropriate protective gear your child may need in their sports. Helmets, elbow and knee pads, wrist guards, mouth guards and pads are all common types of protective equipment for youth sports. Make sure all equipment is fitted properly, and re-fitted when children are growing.
- Follow the rules: Learn and follow the safety rules and regulations in your sport. Pitch counts in baseball, limiting checking in hockey, and avoiding spearing in football are all examples of rules that have been shown to decrease injuries. These rules are created to keep our young athletes safe.
- Condition your body: It’s important for all athletes, even children, to work on strength and conditioning prior to and during the season.
- Get plenty of rest: Make sure your child has enough time off each week and each year.
- Mix it up: Playing many different sports seems to decrease sport-specific overuse injuries. Early specialization in one sport may lead to injury and burnout.
- Stop if there’s pain: Some injuries can be minor but other overuse injuries can be high risk. If your child is experiencing pain despite adequate rest, they should be evaluated by a medical provider.
Join the conversation. What sports do your kids play? Are they ready to play it safe?