As the leaves start changing and kids start heading back to school, fall sports turn from summer training to game time. Both parents and coaches alike are concerned about the safety of their young athletes, looking for ways of avoiding injury during the upcoming season. Football, cheerleading, volleyball and soccer ramp up during the fall season and so do the chance for sports-related injuries.
Sports Injuries On The Rise
According to SafeKids.org and the Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 3.5 million children under the age of 19 sustain an injury each year due to sports, most common of which are strains and sprains, fractures, and concussions.
- On average, there are 350,000 injuries seen in emergency rooms due to football. Injury estimates of non-emergency injuries go as high as 900,000.
- Soccer accounts for about 434,000 injuries each year, 170,000 of which are seen in the emergency room.
- Roughly 200,000 injuries occur from participation in cheerleading and volleyball.
Although it’s impossible to prevent and avoid injuries entirely, there are ways to lower the risk and keep athletes safe.
Tips For Avoiding Injury During Sports
- Know where you’re at pre-season. Before the season begins, it’s beneficial to get a physical examination as well as baseline testing if you play a sport with a high concussion rate. Knowing your current health will help coaches and trainers know how hard to push you and when you may be heading towards an injury.
- Follow an injury-prevention program. Doing proper warm-ups and cool-downs are essential to preventing injuries. Following any injury prevention program implemented by the coach or sports medicine professionals will help you avoid injuries during the season.
- Don’t Overtrain; know your limits. If you know where you’re at pre-season, then it should be fairly easy to tell when you’ve reached your limits. Overtraining is one of the biggest causes of injury, so knowing when to step is essential to avoiding injury.
- Follow a consistent and smart training routine. Try not deviate too much from the training program implemented by your coach or trainers. They know what strengthening needs to be done and how hard to push you for high performance. Train smarter, not harder.
- Don’t ignore pain. Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether you’re just sore or you’re in pain from an oncoming injury. Learning how to tell the difference between soreness and pain is essential to injury prevention. However, if you’re unsure, it’s best to bring your concern to your coach, trainer, or physical therapist. They will be able to then make an accurate assessment.
Best Tip For Avoiding Injury
Listen and follow the injury prevention program laid out at the beginning of the season. Coaches and trainers, as well as parents, want to complete a full season injury-free. The best way to do this is implemented and consistently follow an injury prevention program.