Key injury Prevention Tips
Develop a consistent stretching and warm up routine. It is important to maintain a flexibility to avoid injury. A warm up routine that mirrors the sport being played should be performed before every practice long enough to increase the athlete’s heart rate slightly. Overhead throwing athletes should stretch the back of the shoulder using the “sleeper stretch” every day to maintain flexibility of the shoulder capsule.
Stay Hydrated. To avoid heat illnesses, cramps or injuries during play, your athlete should drink plenty of fluids before, during and after practices and games.
Take a break. Most injuries in young athletes are due to overuse. The most frequent types of sports injuries are sprains, strains, and stress fractures. Injury occurs when excessive stress is placed on tendons, joints, bones and muscle. Rest periods during practice and games can reduce injuries.
Use the right stuff. Be sure that sports protective equipment is in good condition, fits appropriately and is worn correctly all the time—for example, avoid missing or broken buckles or compressed or worn padding. Poorly fitting equipment may be uncomfortable and may not offer the best protection.
Gear up. When children are active in sports and recreation, make sure they use the right protective gear for their activity, such as helmets, wrist guards, knee or elbow pads.
Tips sourced from UTMB Health Orthopedics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.