Sports Injury PreventionCan sports injuries be prevented?
It has been estimated that at least one-half of sports injuries could have been prevented by the use of management tools that consider factors such as the environment of a particular sport and protection of the individual.
Environmental factors to be considered when planning sports activities include the following:
Protection of the individual includes the following:
Safety gear and equipment:
|Safety gear should be sport-specific and may include such items as goggles, mouthguards, shin-elbow-knee pads, and helmets. The safety gear worn by a child should fit properly. In addition, sports equipment (such as bats, baskets, and goals) should be in good working condition and any damage should be repaired or replaced. The playing area should be free from debris and water. |
Note: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that late-developing teens avoid contact sports until their bodies have developmentally "caught up" to their peers' bodies.
The importance of hydration:
|As your child participates in sports, he/she will sweat. This sweat must be replaced with equal amounts of fluids, usually 1 to 1 1/2 liters per hour of intense sports activity. Your child should drink fluids before, during, and after each practice or game. To avoid stomach cramps from drinking large amounts of fluids at once, encourage your child to drink about one cup of water (or a type of sports drink) every 15 to 20 minutes. Drinks to avoid include those with carbonation and caffeine. |
The following are the most common symptoms of dehydration. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
If your child exhibits signs of dehydration, make sure he/she receives fluids immediately. The symptoms of dehydration may resemble other medical conditions or problems. Always consult your child's physician for a diagnosis.
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