The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 3.5 million kids are treated for sports-related injuries annually, while nearly half of the injuries are preventable, says Safe Kids USA. Parents can take steps to help kids prevent sports injuries. The American Academy of Pediatrics (healthychildren.org) suggests the following tips for athletic kids.
- Take time off at least one day a week to allow the body to recover and take breaks during practice.
- Wear the right gear and make sure it fits appropriately.
- Perform conditioning and strengthening exercises before games and during practice.
- Stop any activity if there is pain.
- Avoid heat injury by wearing light clothing, decreasing or stopping practice during high heat and humidity conditions and by drinking fluids before, during and after practice and games.
Why wear a HELMET?
More than 70 percent of kids ages 5 – 14 ride bikes regularly, says Safe Kids USA, but not enough kids protect their heads by wearing a helmet. In fact, more than 1,000 people die each year in the U.S. in bike crashes with 62 percent of the deaths due to head injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and yet a large segment of parents and kids are ambivalent about helmet use (currently, only 15 to 25 percent of U.S. kids wear helmets when they ride).