Preventing Youth Sports Injuries
As summer winds down and schools are back in session, fall sports like Football, Baseball, and Soccer are gearing up for the season. This means after-school practices, conditioning, and of course the possibility for injury. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, up to one in three youth athletes become injured to the point of missing a game or practice; and while some injuries are unavoidable, there’s much that can be prevented.
Below are some of our Sports Medicine Center’s favorite tips for avoiding injury this season:
Especially in the warm Florida sun, staying hydrated before, during, and after practices or games is essential. It’s recommended to drink plenty of fluids 30 minutes before engaging in activity, and every 15 or 20 minutes during. Any youth who is experiencing dizziness, light-headedness, nausea, or cramps may be suffering from dehydration and should consume fluids immediately.
Warm up and stretch
Taking just a few minutes before and after practices or games to properly stretch can help prevent muscle sprains or damage. Stretching before activity helps loosen up muscles, making them more flexible and resistant to damage. Stretching after physical activity may seem strange to some, but it helps loosen up muscles that have tightened during activity, helping to fight soreness.
Almost half of all youth sports injuries can be attributed to muscle overuse, so allowing adequate time for muscles to rest is important to the athlete’s safety. Taking breaks during games and practices, and resting during off seasons helps keep the body performing at its best.
Stop if there’s pain
Youth athletes are often reluctant to stop playing, even if they’re in pain. It’s important to remind them that if they feel pain, they need to stop and seek medical attention to prevent a major injury from happening.
Though some sports injuries may not be prevented by these tips, the highly trained and experienced staff at Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine is standing by to help in the event that something does happen. Request an appointment online, or give us a call today at 904-825-0540 with any questions about the sports medicine services we offer.
Casey McClone, MD
Board Certifications in Family Medicine and Sports Medicine. Dr. McClone specializes in treating musculoskeletal pain for patients of all ages with ultra-sound guided injections.