Injury Prevention Tips from Dr. Agree
Date: August 07, 2012
Prevention is key to keeping your child healthy so that he or she can play
the entire sports season. Of course, accidents can always happen in sports, but
here a few steps tips to reduce the likelihood.
||Dr Robert Agree practices sports medicine at the Trinity Medical
If you need a doctor referral, call Trinity Medical Center's Physician Referral
Line at 1-877-TMC-1232.
Wear Protective Gear
Protective gear refers to any type of sports accessories that helps keep an
athlete from getting hurt. The gear often depends on the type of sport. Helmets
are the most common protective gear. Make sure your child wears the right helmet
for the sport he or she is participating in. The helmet should fit snugly but
comfortably, and if it has a strap, it should be fastened; otherwise, the helmet
will not remain securely on the head. Other sports require eye protection, mouth
guards, pads, wrist, elbow and knee guards, and a protective cup for boys.
It's not a good idea to dart into a game and start playing cold. Stretching and
warm up activities should take place before the action begins. Warm-ups that
last 15 to 30 minutes and include slow, gradual stretching help lengthen the
muscles and increase blood flow and muscle temperature. That way, the muscles
are ready to go and are less likely to get hurt.
Know the Rules of the Game
Just as traffic laws prevent car crashes when drivers follow the rules, same
principle applies for sports. When players know the rules of the game what's
legal and what's not fewer injuries happen, and your child and teammates know
what to expect from one another. For instance, most sports (except for football)
discourage tackling another athlete to get the ball. It's legal and safer to
go after the ball rather than the player. Your child's coach will teach the
rules of the game, but parents can help by preaching good sportsmanship and
teamwork. It helps to understand the plays that pertain to each sport and the
role each player has in that play.
Watch Out for Others
Some rules are there simply to protect other players and to enforce courtesy.
For instance, in baseball or softball, the batter can't fling the bat after
hitting the ball and heading for first base. He or she must drop it so that it
doesn't hit anyone. One way to watch out for others is to communicate on the
field. For instance, a baseball player in the outfield might yell, I've got it
to avoid a collision with another outfielder. Listening to the coach during a
game also can help keep you safe.
Don't Play When You're Injured
If your child loves sports, it's tempting to want to get right back in the game
after an injury. But playing when you're hurt or before an injury has
sufficient time to fully heal is a bad idea. It can lead to an even worse
injury that might sideline your child for a long time. See a doctor for any
injury and follow his or her advice about how and when your child can return to
practice and to the field of play.