Preventing sports injuries in kids

All parents worry about the safety their kids, and with fall sports season in full swing, it’s important to protect them from injuries.

In the United States, about 30 million children and teens participate in some form of organized sports. Although we can’t protect our kids all the time, there are some things you can teach them to avoid injuries on the field.

We recently got this question from a viewer:

Dear Dr. Manny,
My son is playing his first year of high school football this year, and it has me worried sick. How can I help prevent him from getting injured?

One of the best ways to prevent injuries for young athletes is to make sure they engage in a good warm-up and stretching program.

Adam Discepolo, physical therapist and clinical director at Professional Physical Therapy in New York City, told that stretching should be done before and after physical activity.

“A lot of kids seem to neglect this area and it puts them at risk for strains such as hip flexors, hamstrings, and groin, which is common with our fall sports of soccer and football,” he said.

Discepolo emphasized the importance of wearing protective gear that fits correctly, like helmets and pads – especially for contact sports.

“Also if they are not feeling right or if a muscle is bothering them, it’s important that they contact their coach, their parent, or athletic trainer so they can get evaluated and treated properly,” he said.

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