Today’s kids are much more likely to have the opportunity to play their chosen sport year-round with structured activities and camps. But an increased risk of sports-related injuries comes with more time available on the field. These wounds can include injuries to the UCL or labrum in the elbow and shoulder, meniscus and ACL injuries in the knee, and many more. Our orthopedic surgeon in Altamonte Springs offers the following tips for protecting your young athlete from sports-related injuries:
There is a right and wrong way of doing things in every sport you play. For example, coaches should train baseball players on following guidelines for the number of throws recommended per day and how to throw correctly. In contrast, football players require instruction on the proper tackling techniques to avoid concussions. In addition, following safety guidelines and procedures is essential for keeping your athlete, their teammates, and their opponents safe and healthy.
Protective equipment like shoes, pads, helmets, and mouth guards are essential for preventing injuries. Talk to your student’s coaches before the season begins to ensure that you have enough time to get the proper safety gear before practices begin or the season starts.
During humid and hot days, heat-related illness can be a problem for student-athletes. Parents should always ensure that their athletes have plenty of hydration before, during, and after practices and games. They should also be on the lookout for symptoms of heat-related illness, including fainting, confusion, vomiting, nausea, and fatigue.
Athletes need to maintain a regular eating schedule and a well-balanced diet with plenty of lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables. For example, make sure your athlete has meals around the same time daily.
All athletes need to rest between events, games, and practices, especially children and teens. Muscle fatigue and a lack of sleep put athletes at a much higher risk for sports-related injuries. Overuse injuries are the most common injuries that are found in youth athletics. Student-athletes should also have an offseason where they have plenty of time to rest and recuperate before the following season starts.
Stretching is an essential technique for injury prevention that all student-athletes should make a habit of before starting a sport or activity. Experts recommend dynamic and static stretching when warming up to loosen muscles and prepare them for playing. For example, stretches and toe touches where you hold a position for a specific period are considered static. In contrast, stretches and jumping jacks where the body moves continually during stretching are considered dynamic.
Young athletes need to change the activities or sports they play so they do not continuously stress the same joints and muscles and risk overuse injuries. Experts urge parents to limit how many teams their student plays on and switch their routines up regularly.
These are just a handful of tips to prevent sports-related injuries in teens and children. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon in Altamonte Springs. We are here to help you have the best quality of life possible.