According to the SafeKids Worldwide, in 2012, more than 1.35 million children ages 19 and under were seen in emergency departments for injuries related to 14 commonly played sports. Every three minutes a child is seen in an emergency department for a sports-related concussion.
Matt Roth, MD, is a board-certified physician who specializes in family medicine and sports medicine with ProMedica Physicians, can comment on keeping kids safe during fall sports, the importance of sports physicals and the dangers of concussions. Dr. Roth is also medical director of ProMedica Wellness and the team physician for the Toledo Walleye. Dr. Roth offers these tips:
- Before playing organized sports, make sure your child receives a pre-participation physical exam or sports physical by a doctor. This can help rule out any potential medical conditions that may place your child at risk.
- Bring a water bottle to practice and games. Encourage children to stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water before, during and after play.
- Stretching before practice and games can release muscle tension and help prevent sports-related injuries, such as muscle tears or sprains. Make sure there is time set aside before every practice and game for athletes to warm up properly.
- An off-season is important, too. It is recommended that kids get 10 consecutive weeks of rest from any one sport every year. Playing different sports throughout the year is OK.
- It’s also a good idea for coaches to get certified in first aid and CPR, learn the signs and symptoms of a concussion and help avoid overuse injury by resting players during practices and games.
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