There are many benefits to your child playing on a sports team. It keeps them active and healthy, builds self-esteem, and establishes long-lasting values. With sports injuries on the rise, though, parents should remain mindful of how to lower the risks for their child athletes.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, high school athletes alone account for an estimated 2 million injuries, 500,000 doctor visits, and 30,000 hospitalizations every year. This high rate of sports-related injuries is fueled by an increase in participation, leading to overuse and trauma. According to orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Matthew Griffith, "Many sports-related injuries can be prevented. It's very important to train properly to prepare for sports participation and also to recognize overuse injuries early and to get them evaluated."
Dr. Griffith recommends these top 6 rules to keep your children healthy athletes:
Pre-season: Start training before the season and get a physical from your doctor.
Before play: Warm up and stretch for 5-10 minutes before practice. Make sure to target all the major muscle groups that you'll be using.
During play: Drink water! Stay hydrated. Listen to your body.
After play: Take at least 2 days off each week to recover, and make sure you're getting plenty of rest.
Post-season: Take at least 2 months off from your sport to give your body a break and avoid overuse injuries.
Year-round: If anything feels wrong, talk to your coach or doctor. Playing through the pain could create a long-term injury or condition.
If you experience an injury this spring, we invite you to call us at 703.444.5000 to schedule an appointment with one of the physicians here at Arthritis & Sports. To stay up-to-date on the latest news and tips from us, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter by clicking below.