Tips for injury prevention during sports

Exercise safety

n Exercise at least 30 minutes every day

n Warm up and stretch before physical activity

n Wear the right shoes and protective gear

n Take lessons to learn proper technique

n Invest in good equipment

n Be cautious when adding new activities and exercises

n Develop a balanced fitness program that includes cardiovascular exercise, strength training and flexibility

Tips for youth sports

n Children should participate in a level of sport that matches his or her level of development and physical conditioning. Injuries occur when parents expect the sport to get the child into shape rather than helping a child train for a sport prior to participating in it.

n Sporting events should occur in a healthy environment (with the appropriate surface) and be well-coached and supervised by a qualified adult leader.

n Allow children to play as children, not adults

n Receive and follow conditioning guidance in your child's sport of choice. It is important for young bodies to start at a beginning level of activity and work their way up to a more advanced level.

n Safety gear can be a life-or-death issue. Always have your child wear properly fitting safety equipment that is in good condition.

n Many children have special needs. Be aware of them and address them.

n Most sports require a certain amount of flexibility and power. Make sure your child takes time to warm up properly before engaging in the sporting activity.

n Overuse is a common risk among young people. Children should be properly rested before playing and shouldn’t overdo. They should never be allowed to play through pain.

n Learn the rules with your child and make sure he or she follows them

n Encourage your child to have fun participating in their sport of choice

Playground safety tips

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommends these playground safety tips for children and the adults supervising them:

n Children should play over a soft surface such as rubber, double-shredded bark mulch or engineered wood fibers

n Inspect equipment for loose, broken or missing parts

n Children should hold onto handrails and grips with both hands

n An adult should be present during playtime

n When using the slide, kids should slide one person at a time, slide sitting down and facing forward, and move away from the slide as soon as they reach the ground

n Children should play on dry equipment only and wear proper footwear

n Encourage kids to watch out for others, climb on steps slowly and have fun!

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Submitted by Providence Hood River Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Clinic.

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