A girls basketball team giving each other high-fives

Protect Your Teen From Sports Injuries

Organized sports provide the opportunity for teens to build self-esteem, learn about teamwork, and understand the importance of exercise for good health. Sometimes, however, adolescents who participate in sports experience serious injuries. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published by the nonprofit organization Stop Sports Injuries, high school athletes experience about 2 million injuries every year, about 30,000 of which require hospitalization. Help protect your teen with these sports safety tips.

Encourage Cross-Training

A girls basketball team giving each other high-fives

Although many young athletes are serious about one sport, competing in more than one type of activity can reduce the risk of injury. Talk to your teen about the importance of switching between sports or taking a season off rather than playing on different teams in the same activity all year.

Provide the Right Gear

Make sure your teen has the appropriate helmet, padding, and equipment for his or her specific sport. Depending on the activity, this may also include eye protection, a protective cup, face guard, or mouth guard. Stress the importance of wearing safety equipment for both practices and games. Look for gear with certification from the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment.

Perform First Aid

Strains, sprains, torn tendons, and other overuse injuries are common among young athletes. When your child experiences unusual pain, seek medical attention right away. In the meantime, know the RICE method to minimize pain and swelling. Your teen should rest the injured extremity, apply ice, wrap the injured area with a compression bandage, and elevate it above the level of the heart.

Ensure Proper Supervision

A coach with a win-at-all-cost attitude will be detrimental to the health of his or her players. Make sure your teen has time to rest and get enough fluids during practices and games. The coach should never pressure your child to play when he or she is in pain or has an injury.

Despite your best efforts, it’s impossible to completely prevent an active teen from experiencing a sports injury. When you need an orthopedic surgeon in Houston, trust the knowledge and experience of K. Mathew Warnock, MD. Call 281-807-4380 or complete our online form to schedule an appointment for your teen today.

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