Back to school starts the return to organized sports for over 30 million children and a steady stream of emergency room visits for millions of kids who will suffer sports injuries throughout the year. Many sports injuries can be prevented through proper supervision and conditioning. All children and teens should have a physical exam every year to clear them fit to play organized sports, whether the school requires it.
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Why Parents Should Be Concerned
Children’s sports injuries account for almost 2.5 million visits to hospital emergency rooms throughout the year. Although most sports injuries will heal with proper treatment and time, catastrophic injuries, while rare, do occur. According to a study by University of North Carolina scientists, one out of 100,000 students will experience a severe or fatal injury or illness from school sports.
Taking a Proactive Stance Against School Sports Injuries
The answer to preventing children from suffering a sports injury is not to prohibit participation. No exercise at all is more of a danger to children’s health than sports injuries. Inactivity can increase the risk of injuries later in life in addition to serious health issues like arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes. Instead, parents should take steps to protect their children’s safety as they engage in football, basketball, swimming, and other school sports.
All children who participate in sports should have a complete physical with their doctor before participating in a sport to rule out unknown conditions, like heartbeat irregularities that could lead to death from sudden cardiac arrest. But, both parents and coaches should also make sure that children and teens:
- Are in good physical condition for the sport they choose
- Begin getting in shape several months before participating in a sport with conditioning exercises to build core strength
- Warmup and stretch before participating in practices or games
- Participate in cooling down activities after sports participation
- Have and wear the appropriate apparel and protective gear for their sport
- Keep properly hydrated at all times, but especially while training and participating in sports activities
Parents put their trust in schools and coaches to keep their children safe while participating in school sports. When kids are injured, an accident attorney in Las Vegas can help ensure that the school, safety equipment manufacturers, and others are held accountable.