Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Playing sports is one of the best ways to keep kids active, healthy and happy. Sport Safety Guide

We also know that for children, being a part of a team and playing sports can help build self-esteem and social skills. But playing sports also means risk of injuries. In fact, each year more than 3.5 million children and adolescents sustain a sport-related injury that requires medical attention.

Athletic Injuries can be mild such as ankle sprains and muscle strains but playing sports creates risk for more severe injuries too, such as concussions or heat illness. Experts say that many sports-related injuries occurring in games and practices are likely preventable. So how do keep young athletes active, healthy—and safe?
Learn what you need to know to keep your kids safe when playing sports:

Pre-participation Physical Evaluations Make sure your child receives an annual physical screening before playing sports.

PPEs help identity any underlying conditions young athletes may have and help parents, coaches and doctors make more informed decisions about physical activity and competitive play of their athlete.

Parents need to talk to their child’s doctor and ask them to perform the full pre-participation evaluation, updated and recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Concussion Prevention, Recognition and Response About 90 percent of concussions occur without the loss of consciousness so knowing the signs and symptoms of a concussion is crucial as a parent.

Concussions are a brain injury. This occurs when a bump, blow or jolt to the head changes the way the brain normally works. Approximately half of all “second impact syndrome” incidents –caused from a hasty return to play after suffering the initial concussion – result in death.

Acute and Overuse Injury Prevention
As a parent, learn about the causes of overuse and acute injuries and what you can do to help avoid them.

Acute injuries are common types of sport-related injuries such as sprains (mostly ankle), muscle strains, bone or growth plate injuries and heat-related illness. Repetitive strain, or “micro-trauma,” to the tendons, bones, and joints are what cause overuse injuries such as “little league elbow” and stress fractures. Risks of overuse injuries are more severe in children than adults as growing bones of a young athlete cannot handle as much stress.
Heat Illness Prevention
Children are often dehydrated before symptoms appear so as a parent, encouraging your kids to hydrate before, during and after play is critical.

Dehydration, a form of heat illness, is the excessive loss of fluids from the body. Dehydration not only hurts performance but can put a child at risk of a more serious heat-related illness, such as heat exhaustion or, heat stroke.