As summer winds down and kids head back to school, fall sports seasons begin. While athletics provide many benefits for young athletes, they do come with a risk of injury. As a parent, you want to keep your active kids safe while allowing them to play and participate in the sports they love. Our team loves sports, and we want our patients to feel confident and secure as they participate. Here is a guide to fall sports safety and injury prevention.
Warm Up & Cool Down
Never allow kids to jump straight into intense activity. Warm-ups get the blood flowing, raise body temperature, and prep muscles for activity. Cool downs help avoid post-exercise muscle soreness and stiffness. Make sure your child stretches before practices and games.
Focus on Form
Proper technique is critical. Many sports injuries happen due to improper form. If your child is in a new sport, ensure coaches provide instruction on correct stance, movement, and body positioning. If your child participates in a sport, they are familiar with, reinforce fundamentals at home to build good habits. Learning and practicing proper form prevents injuries and damage down the road.
Listen to Pain Signals
Playing through pain often leads to more severe, chronic injuries. Children should alert you or their coach about unusual joint pain, muscle strain, or ligament sprains so they can adequately rest and recover. Make sure your child’s coaches are aware of any injuries your child may be suffering from. Do not let eagerness to play lead to long-term health impacts.
Stay Hydrated & Fueled
Dehydration and low energy contribute to muscle cramps and fatigue-related accidents. Make sure your child drinks enough water leading up to and during activities. Pack healthy pre-game and halftime snacks like fruits, veggies, nuts, grains, or protein bars to maintain energy levels.
Prioritize Protective Gear
Sports equipment protects vulnerable body parts. Ensure your child wears a helmet for contact sports like football, hockey, or lacrosse. Ankle and knee braces provide joint stability if needed. Mouth guards prevent dental injuries. It is vital to invest in sport-specific, high-quality safety gear.
These safety tips should be applied no matter what sport your child participates in or their age. By preparing your child and taking the proper steps, you can keep your kids’ fall season injury-free. Focus on fundamentals, listen to their bodies and outfit them properly so they can achieve their athletic goals.
Dr. Marshall P. Allegra is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon in private practice in Monmouth County for over 25 years. Specializing in minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery, full and partial joint reconstruction, hand, foot, and ankle surgery, fracture care, and non-surgical treatment options, Dr. Allegra is dedicated to providing one-on-one personalized care to every patient. Come to our office and experience NO WAIT TIME. We respect your time and realize you have things to do. That’s why we never overbook or overschedule. Learn more at allegraortho.com or call 732-888-8388 to schedule an appointment.