Preventing Common Summer Sports Injuries
Summer sports are in full swing. But don’t forget summer sports can lead to injuries you won’t see during the winter months.
Before your child begins a sporting program, ask the coaches how they will treat emergencies such as concussions, dehydration, sun stroke or cardiac arrest. Many coaches have no first aid or CPR training. And serious injuries, such as loss of consciousness, distressed breathing or potential bone breaks, should be promptly taken to the closest emergency room for medical attention.SoccerInjuries
- Knee pain, shin splints and heat illnesses related to dehydration are the most common. Andy Barney, director of KC Legends Soccer, says, “In the summer, we worry about heat stress, so we keep the kids hydrated. In order to play at optimum levels, even a little dehydration is not going to be good for the kids.”
- Proper warmup and cool down exercises can prevent many injuries. Also, do not let a child play if he or she is injured. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that youths “should drink 10 to 15 ounces of cool water before exercise and 8 to 10 ounces every 20 to 30 minutes” during activity.
- “Little League Elbow,” sliding injuries, batting injuries and outfield direct line hits are easily preventable. Mike Neal, head pitching instructor of Regal Athletics in Kansas City, MO, says they are a training facility and injury prevention program. “Their philosophy is fingertip to toes warm-ups and throwing drills” to demonstrate correct technique for injury prevention.
- Proper equipment is crucial. Batting equipment includes helmets with chin straps (some even have face shields). These need to be worn correctly and fit properly. Catchers need a helmet, facemask, chest protector covering entire torso, athletic cup (for males) and shin guards. Wearing sliding pants, foot guards and batting gloves is also a smart choice. In addition, a maximum number of pitches per game for pitchers is mandatory to prevent damage to young bodies.
- Swimmer shoulder, exhaustion, swimmer’s ear and unsupervised “weak swimmer” injuries are common.
- Make sure an able adult or lifeguard is present at the pool. No running around the pool is important to avoiding falls, and proper usage of sunscreen to avoid severe burns is essential. Swimming down to the drain of a pool is dangerous and must be prohibited. If your children are not strong swimmers, life vests can be beneficial.