With football season in full swing and basketball practices set to tip off in the coming weeks, we thought it would be helpful to share a list of tips to make sure your young athlete stays safe on the playing field this year. Below, we’ve posted a list of tips, courtesy of Scott Sailor for USA Today. Good luck this season!
Prepare properly: Sailor says all athletes should have a pre-participation exam to make sure their bodies are physically able to compete. Medical authorization forms should be completed and, if your child is recovering from an injury, make sure he or she is physically and mentally ready to return.
Ensure a safe playing environment: Sailor says that all schools should have the proper safety measures in place. This includes an emergency action plan which is usually developed by the school’s trainer. This plan provides a formal protocol for emergencies in collaboration with administration, coaches, and local EMS.
Second, all equipment from helmets to turf and everything in between should be working properly. The school should also have an AED onsite that is maintained and checked on a regular basis.
Third, a coach should be credentialed if required by the state and should also have CPR, AED, and first aid training. The coach should also collaborate with the sports medicine team and defer to them for important medical decisions.
Finally, all locker rooms, gyms, and showers should be cleaned often to prevent bacterial, viral, and fungal skin infections. Make sure your child’s clothing and equipment are cleaned regularly and ask them to avoid sharing their gear with others.
Know the risks: Temperatures in the late summer and early fall tend to be higher which means an increased risk of heat illness. Also, some sports, such as football, also come with an increased risk of concussion so those athletes need to be educated on prevention, symptoms, and management, says Sailor. If your child suffers from asthma or allergies, know the risks involved with participating in intense activity.
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