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Keep Your Child Safe in Sports
Some adults have fond memories of sandlot baseball, swimming in the river or pick-up basketball games in the schoolyard. Today, the sports children play are much more organized and supervised.
If you are a parent, youth coach or simply a spectator, you want children to be safe when they play. Ankle sprains and muscle strains are par for the course. They are mild, but some injuries are serious - more than 3.5 million children and adolescents require medical attention every year for sport-related injuries from games and practices; many of these injuries are preventable.
Coaches and parents can read how to prevent concussions, acute & overuse injuries and heat related illness at the safekids.org website. Concussions are a brain injury that occurs when a bump or blow to the head changes the way the brain normally works. This could be caused by "heading" a soccer ball or colliding on the football field. Overuse injuries (like "Little League elbow") stress the growing bones of a young pitcher. Heat related illnesses include sun burn and dehydration, the excessive loss of fluids from the body.
These risks can be managed, so don't be afraid to let your children play sports. You want them to be active. An hour a day of physical activity can help combat the obesity epidemic. Read more at the Fuel Up to Play 60 website.
Whether your child plays on an organized team or in pick-up games, it is a good idea to make sure he or she has an annual physical first. The screening can help identify underlying conditions. Ask your pediatrician to perform the full pre-participation evaluation recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.