The new soccer season is just around the corner and injuries seem to be more rampant than usual. As of this writing, Valley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Trauma Center is already seeing sports related injuries. For 2018 so far (through August), we’ve admitted 39 children with sports related injuries, 11 of those were soccer related. These are admitted patients and doesn’t account for those seen and discharged from the Emergency Department.
Prepare – all young athletes should have an annual Pre-Participation Exam (PPE) done by their own pediatrician. This physician, who already knows the child, can alert the parent to specifics related to sports and their child’s health.
Warm Up – warming up and stretching should always occur prior to any practice or games. I should consist of at least 10 minutes of light activity, jogging for example, followed by a few minutes of stretching major muscle groups for 20-30 seconds.
Hydrate – taking fluids is essential for health activity. Remember to hydrate 30 minutes prior to the event then every 15-20 minutes during activity.
Wear appropriate gear – all sports have some protective equipment. Use them to prevent injury during both practice and game time.
Don’t take chances with the brain – learn about concussions, how they occur, how to recognize them, and then what to do about them. Remember, that any young athlete suspected of having a concussion must be sidelined until a medical professional can evaluate and clear them.
Make rest a priority – take necessary breaks during practice and game time. also between games and practices. Prevent over-use injury.
Be a supportive parent – but not an overbearing one. Go an cheer on the team and your student athlete, they will thrive when they hear your voice and see you on the sidelines. But keep it all positive.
In the meantime, get out on that field and…Play Hard Play Safe!
For more information go to: https://www.safekids.org/sports-safety-101/changing-the-culture-in-sports