Now that spring is here and summer not too far behind, most young people are out there in the sunshine, indulging in their favorite pastimes. And with April being National Youth Sports Safety Month, we need to ensure the safety of our kids when playing sports.
The first few weeks of spring are usually a busy time for us at the clinic because a lot of children get injured at this time of the year. As a San Diego orthopedic surgeon, I’d like to offer some tips that you can implement to prevent sports injuries:
Pre-participation physical examination
Undergoing a PPE will help identify if your kid has a pre-existing medical condition that you may not be aware of, and may affect their ability to play.
Warm-ups and cool-downs
Make sure that your kid sets aside enough time to warm-up before practice and game sessions, and that they get to cool down after. Doing so minimizes the risk of muscle strain and other soft tissue injuries.
Right sporting equipment
Check if the equipment is the right fit and still in great condition. If your child is using an old equipment, it may be time for an upgrade. Many advances have been made in the field of sports equipment which not only improves performance, but prevents injury.
If your child has not been playing a lot during winter, it is best that they don’t return to their previous level of exertion right away. Make sure to pace them when playing.
This is especially important if your kid is making the jump from middle school to high school, where the practices can be a lot more demanding than what your kid is normally used to.
If your child does get injured from a sporting event, check for any symptoms that continue to persist. At this point, it is best to consult a pediatric orthopedic to get the right diagnosis and the best treatment.