Preparing for Fall – Sports Safety Tips

Summer may be in full swing, but now is the time to prepare for the fall sports season. Sports like football and volleyball can be fun extracurricular activities for your child athlete, but there are a few things to keep in mind to encourage proper training and prevent injury:

1. Pre-season Medical Screening – Every athlete should receive an annual pre-participation physical evaluation (PPE), also known as a physical, to help prevent or treat any underlying conditions he/she may have. Physicals should be completed about 6 weeks prior to the season to allow enough time to follow up on any health issues identified during the exam. Before taking your child in for a physical at OneSource Healthcare, make a list of the following:
– Questions for the physician about your child’s health
– Current medications
– Past orthopedic problems or fractures
– Chronic medical problems
– Allergies
– Family history of any heart disorders
– Any history of a concussion

2. Proper Conditioning – Contrary to popular belief, most injuries like sprains, muscle strains, heat-related illness and bone or plate growth injuries don’t happen during the game, but 62% of sports-related injuries occur during practice. Coaches should teach young athletes proper routines for both warm-ups and cool-downs.

3. Safety Gear – Athletes should have access to and consistently use well-maintained safety equipment during practices and games to prevent acute injuries.

4. Qualified Coaching – If there are no trainers on staff, it is important for coaches to be trained in both first aid and CPR, have an emergency plan and have current knowledge of safety rules and proper equipment use.

5. Rest – Although it is not uncommon today to see professional athletes play through injury, if young athletes are very tired or in pain, coaches and parents should encourage them to rest, not continue playing. This recovery time can prevent acute or overuse injuries.

Watch: 4 health tips for fall athletes from Dr. Troy Alderman

Even if your child’s sports physical doesn’t detect any health problems, you should always seek medical attention if new health problems emerge during the sports season. Visit OneSource Healthcare for services including urgent care, chiropractic and primary care.