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Play Hard. Play Safe. Sports Med Tips for Youth Athletes.

Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.

In 2013, athletes under the age of 19 experienced approximately 1.24 million sports-related injuries that resulted in a trip to the emergency department. Many of these sports injuries could have been avoided with the proper preparation, equipment, and supervision. As we get into the fall athletic season, make sure your athlete knows how to reduce the risk for sports injury. Below are a few key rules everyone should play by – no matter your age, experience, or the intensity of your exercise.

4 Sports Safety Tips From a Houston Sports Physician

  1. Get a pre-participation physical exam (PPE). Oftentimes, schools and rec leagues will require a PPE before registering an athlete. However, it’s a good idea to go ahead and get one of these exams even if it’s not required. These exams may turn up risk factors, such as asthma, that may otherwise go unidentified. Being knowledgeable about your child’s health and risks will ensure you’re prepared in case something does happen on the field.
  2. Always warm up and stretch. Warming up and stretching are two of the simplest things your child can do to avoid injury. Start with 10 minutes of jogging or some other light cardio activity, such as jumping jacks. Then stretch each muscle group.
  3. Drink plenty of water. In the cooler months ahead, it’s easy for hydration to fall by the wayside. However, dehydration and heat illness is still possible. Start hydrating 30 minutes before activity and be sure to take water or a sports drink every 15-20 minutes throughout activity.
  4. Learn how to recognize concussion symptoms. Concussions are some of the most common and most dangerous sports injuries (especially for young athletes). Make sure your child knows to tell their coach if they have symptoms such as headache, nausea, dizziness, blurry vision, or just don’t “feel right.” Subsequent trauma to the head can be very dangerous. It’s important to get off the field, rest, and seek medical evaluation.

Have A Sports Injury? Get It Evaluated By a Houston Sports Doc

If you or your student has suffered a sports injury that isn’t resolving on its own with basic rest (or hot/cold therapy), schedule an appointment with your physician’s office to have it evaluated. Some injuries may worsen if they don’t receive the treatment they deserve. To schedule an appointment with Houston Institute for Sports Medicine and Orthopedics, book online or call (713) 756-5546.

Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.