09/20/16   |   By

Back to School Sports Safety Tips

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When school starts in the fall, students look forward to participating in sports such as football, soccer and cheerleading. While these activities are an enriching part of the educational system, they present certain health risks. Here are some tips to keep in mind to reduce the chance of adverse effects.

Get a Pre-Participation Examination

The National Athletic Trainers’ Association recommends that children and teens who plan to engage in sports get a physical examination beforehand. Some young athletes may have medical conditions that prolonged, vigorous activity could worsen.

Have the Proper Perspective

The emphasis in school sports should be on the fun of playing the game rather than purely on winning. Undue pressure to win can result in depression when the team loses. It can also lead to risky behavior on the field that increases the likelihood of injuries.

Wear a Helmet

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, high school sports alone cause more than a million brain injuries each year. That’s a staggering figure – one that really should force changes in athletic policy across the U.S. At a minimum, students should wear protective headgear for contact sports as well as receive instruction on concussion prevention. Parents and school authorities should get familiar with the signs of concussions and encourage student athletes and coaches to report symptoms. Be advised that the brain’s chemistry undergoes profound and poorly understood metabolic changes in the days following even mild traumatic brain injury (e.g. concussions sustained during football games). In the days following a hit to the head, be especially watchful, and seek medical assistance as needed.

Don’t Overheat

In some areas of the country, warm weather lingers well into the fall. School coaches should acclimatize students to exercise outdoors gradually over a one- to two-week period. Encourage teens and children to drink water before, during and after workouts.

Sadly, the gymnastics involved in cheerleading puts students at risk of injuries. For more information, see Annual Report Names Cheerleading as Most Dangerous Sport for Female Athletes.

Our Washington D.C. personal injury attorneys would be happy to provide a free and thorough consultation about your recent accident and possible case. Call or email us today to explore your strategic options.

Regan Zambri Long
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