It’s Youth Sports Safety Month and North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey has some sports safety tips to ensure parents, coaches, and kids are well educated on the safest practices.
With spring in bloom and summer around the corner, young athletes are stepping onto the playing field with renewed energy and proper preparation and injury prevention are paramount.
“It’s important to have the right sports safety protocols in place to ensure the health and welfare of young athletes,” said Commissioner Causey. “By properly preparing for practices and competitions, young athletes can excel on the field and stay off the sidelines with potential injuries.”
Every year in North Carolina, approximately 200 children die from accidental injuries and another 45,000 visit a doctor’s office for treatment of injuries. Safe Kids North Carolina, which is housed under the North Carolina Department of Insurance, works to prevent these injuries in children through education and outreach.
Before taking the field, Safe Kids North Carolina wants to remind everyone of these important sports safety tips:
- Before playing organized sports, make sure your child receives a pre-participation physical exam, or PPE, performed by a doctor, or a nurse practitioner or qualified clinician under the supervision of a physician. Whomever performs the exam, the same practices should be followed including the need for a medical history.
- Bring a water bottle to practice and games. Encourage children to stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water before, during and after play.
- Stretching before practice and games can release muscle tension and help prevent sports-related injuries, such as muscle tears or sprains. Make sure there is time set aside before every practice and game for athletes to warm up properly.
- Take time off from one sport to prevent overuse injuries. It is an opportunity to get stronger and develop skills learned in another sport.
- It’s also a good idea for coaches to get certified in first aid and CPR, learn the signs and symptoms of a concussion and help avoid overuse injury by resting players during practices and games.