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Ready for some football, but not for injuries?

August 2014 – More children are competing in sports than ever before. Knowing the importance of keeping kids active both for healthy bodies and healthy minds, we sign them up for football, soccer, volleyball, gymnastics and a hectic schedule of other activities.

At the same time, we want to keep them safe and do everything possible to prevent injuries that could affect children long term. All sports have a risk of injury. The more contact, the greater the risk. However, according to our Sports Medicine specialists, most injuries in young athletes result from overuse.

“Most injuries occur to ligaments, tendons and muscles,” says Dr. Jacob Kidder. “With younger athletes, we usually see strains, sprains and stress fractures.”

To help lower the risk of injury, Dr. Kidder offers the following tips:

  • Time out. Take at least one day a week off from a sport to give the body time to recover.
  • The right gear. Players should wear all appropriate and properly fitted protective equipment.
  • Strengthen muscles. Proper conditioning exercises should be part of any and all practices.
  • Increase flexibility. Stretch daily and particularly before and after all games and practices.
  • Play it safe. NEVER lead head first, spear or body check.
  • Pain is not gain. Stop immediately when you feel pain.
  • Hydrate. Drink plenty of fluids before, during and after practices or games. Avoid strenuous activities during excessive heat and high humidity.

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