Birmingham Lights Birmingham Sports Injury Prevention Tips from Dr. Agree

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 Center.
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.

Warm Up

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.

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