Preventing Sports Injuries

With the new school year in full swing, it’s time to think about after-school activities, including sports and how to prevent injury.

Every year more than 3 and-a-half-million children 14 and under are sent to the emergency room because of sports-related injuries and unfortunately, that statistic is rising. Because of the popularity with everything from intramural soccer to cheerleading, children’s sports are rapidly growing. As many as 75 percent of U.S. households have at least one child who plays in organized sports. The number is higher when recreational activities, such as skating, riding scooters and skateboarding are taken into account.

Kids are generally susceptible to sports injuries for a variety of reasons, especially those younger than 8 years old. This age group is less coordinated and has slower reaction times than adults because they are still growing, maturing and developing.

According to participation in any sport, whether it’s recreational bike riding or basketball, can teach kids to stretch their limits and learn sportsmanship and discipline, but any sport brings with it the potential for injury. For example, a collision between two 7 year-olds who weigh 65 or 70 pounds each does not produce as much force as that produced by two 16 year old high school football players who may weigh in at as much as 220 pounds each.

Besides organized sports such as football, baseball and basketball, recreational activities such as inline skating can also cause injury. You can help prevent your child from being injured by following some simple guidelines from the Center for Disease Control.

Parents can help their children avoid getting hurt by making sure the helmet and pads are on correctly. The helmet should be tightly buckled, with the front coming down to right over your eyebrow, and your pads should be on tight, so they don’t slip while you are skating. It’s also important that the helmet is approved by one of the groups who test helmets to see which ones are the best: the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), or Snell B-95 standards are best for inline skating helmets. Make sure your child is being careful when it comes to speed, turns and stops as well as cracks in the pavement — they can be dangerous if wheels get caught in them. It’s best to go skating out of the way of traffic and other people (skating rinks are great places to skate). Helmets should also be worn for riding scooters, skateboarding, softball, bicycle riding and of course hockey.

For racquet sports and basketball, remember protective eyewear, such as shatterproof goggles. It’s also always a good idea to include items such as protective shoes, mouth guards, athletic supporters and padding. Also, it is important to remember that that sports protective equipment is maintained correctly and is in good condition—for example, without missing or broken buckles or compressed or worn padding. Poorly fitting equipment may be uncomfortable and may not offer proper protection.

Playing Surfaces

Coaches and activity directors should see to it that playing fields and surfaces are safe and ready for playing and not full of hazards such as holes and ruts that might cause kids to fall or trip. Kids doing high-impact sports, like basketball and running, should do them on surfaces like tracks and wooden basketball courts, which can be more forgiving than surfaces like concrete.

Weather Conditions

Allow time for child athletes to get use to hot or humid environments to prevent heat-related injuries or illness. Parents and coaches need to pay close attention to make sure that players are properly hydrated and appropriately dressed. The team coach should also have training in first aid and CPR, and the coach’s philosophy should promote players’ well-being and promote players’ safety and well-being. Additionally, make sure your kids are matched for sports according to their skill level, size, and physical and emotional maturity.

Contact Us

If your child has suffered a sports-related injury, you may be able to claim damages. Contact child injury lawyer Jeffrey Killino today at 877-875-2927 to speak with him about your legal rights and options.