Avoid Sports Injuries This School Year With These Tips
The AAOS has shared their expert advice on how children can reduce their risk of injury when playing sports after school this fall.
After school sports are a large part of many adolescent lives. These sports provide healthy competition that shapes young athletes where they may develop self-discipline and teamwork, and improve physical fitness and coordination. However, if sports are not played carefully and symptoms of injury are not recognized, severe damage can occur.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in 2016, emergency departments, doctors’ offices and clinics treated:
- 189,829 people for volleyball-related injuries;
- 974,865 for football-related injuries;
- 618,955 for soccer-related injuries; and
- 98,824 for cheerleading-related injuries
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) encourages parents and athletes to follow these safety tips and share them with young athletes to reduce their risk of injury, keeping them healthy and active long after the season is over.
Expert Advice to Avoid Sports Injuries
“It’s important to remember, young athletes’ bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments are still developing during their adolescent years,” said AAOS spokesperson and orthopaedic sports surgeon Anita Rao, MD. “This makes them more vulnerable to injury. An injury to the growth plate of an adolescent who is continuing to grow can cause bone deformity, creating problems for life.”
The AAOS recommends the following fall sport safety tips for young athletes:
- Always get a pre-participation sports physical examination to ensure you’re in proper physical condition to play a sport.
- Know and abide by the rules of a sport.
- Wear appropriate protective gear (for example, a hard-shell helmet and padding for football, shin guards for soccer).
- Know how to correctly use athletic equipment.
- Always warm up before playing.
- Stay hydrated.
- Avoid playing when very tired or in pain.
- Avoid overuse injuries by taking regular breaks and playing other sports. Understand the signs of an injury caused by overuse. These signs include pain that cannot be tied to an acute injury and increases with activity, swelling, changes in form or technique, decreased interest in practice.
- Wear shoes that provide strong ankle and arch support.
More Information about the AAOS
With more than 38,000 members, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is the world’s largest medical association of musculoskeletal specialists. The AAOS provides educational programs for orthopaedic surgeons and allied health professionals, champions and advances the highest quality musculoskeletal care for patients, and is the authoritative source of information on bone and joint conditions, treatments and related issues.