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Health & Parenting

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Keeping Kids Playing Injury-Free

More kids than ever are being sidelined by sports injuries; don't let your child be one of them.
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Would you let your son or daughter ride in a car driven by an unlicensed, unqualified driver? Of course not. The inherent risks are obvious. Sports have inherent risks, too, yet every day parents drop their kids off for practices or games where there's no one trained to handle injuries.

To get an idea of the risks involved in youth and high school sports, identify the following statements as true or false:

  1. An athlete can collapse from dehydration in cool weather or while playing indoors.
  2. "Playing through the pain" can cause a minor injury to become serious.
  3. Many coaches in church leagues, schools, and independent youth sports organizations are not required to know first aid and CPR.
  4. Overuse injuries are more common than acute injuries. Insufficient rest after injury, poor training, and lack of conditioning are contributing factors.
  5. Most injuries occur during practices.
  6. The incidence of injuries requiring surgery is nearly as high for high school baseball and softball players as for football players.
  7. Children aged 5 to 14 account for nearly 40% of all sports related injuries treated in ERs.

If you answered "True" for all the questions you were correct.

To raise awareness about sports safety, the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) recently ran a public service ad campaign, asking, "What will they have longer, their trophies or their injuries?" WebMD talked to two experts committed to raising safety standards for organized kids' sports so that "trophies" will triumph over "injuries."

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