Ways to prevent sports injuries in kids

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Almost a third of kids that play a team sport get injured seriously enough to miss practice or games. (KFSN)

More than 35 million kids play an organized sport in the United States. But, did you know almost a third of kids that play a team sport get injured seriously enough to miss practice or games?

Making friends, getting exercise, and having fun are just a few benefits for kids taking part in sports. But those benefits do come with some risks. In fact, about 21% of all traumatic brain injuries among kids were from sports and recreational activities.

"We were playing baseball. The ball hit my head, and it hurt really bad," said Angelo Neumann.

So how can parents protect their kids?

First, get a preseason physical. This allows parents to find out if their young athlete is fit to play.

Next, don't skip the warm-up. Researchers in Europe studied nearly 4,000 kids and found that a correct warm up, focusing on the stability of the legs and feet and falling technique can reduce sports injuries in soccer by 48%. Physical therapist Nate Bower introduced an injury prevention program, which includes a proper warm-up, at an Alabama school soccer team and so far, "We have seen a 60 percent overall reduction in lower extremity injuries."

Staying adequately hydrated during practice or a game can protect kids from heat-related illness. About 9,000 high school athletes are treated for this every year. Watch out for any signs of confusion, dizziness, or rapid breathing. These could be warning signs that your young athlete needs to load up on water.

Another tip for parents: make sure your kid gets enough rest. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends kids take off at least one day per week and one month per year from training for a particular sport to allow the body to recover.

For More Information, Contact:
Lauren Fulton, Media Relations
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