The following is an excerpt from Westford Pediatrics
Preventing Sports Injuries
You can help prevent your child from being injured by following some simple guidelines:
Use of Proper Equipment
It’s important for kids to use proper equipment and safety gear that is the correct size and fits well. For example, kids should wear helmets for baseball, softball, bicycle riding, and hockey. They also should wear helmets while they’re inline skating or riding scooters and skateboards. For racquet sports and basketball, ask about any protective eyewear. Protective equipment should be approved by the organizations that govern each of the sports.
Also, all equipment should be properly maintained to ensure its effectiveness. In the United States, the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) sets many of the standards for helmets, facemasks, and shin guards. In addition to meeting the NOSCAE standards, all equipment should be properly maintained to ensure its effectiveness over time.
Maintenance and Appropriateness of Playing Surfaces
Check that playing fields are not full of holes and ruts that might cause kids to fall or trip. Kids doing high-impact sports, like basketball and running, should do them on surfaces like tracks and wooden basketball courts, which can be more forgiving than surfaces like concrete.
Adequate Adult Supervision and Commitment to Safety
Any team sport or activity that kids participate in should be supervised by qualified adults. Select leagues and teams that have the same commitment to safety and injury prevention that you do. The team coach should have training in first aid and CPR, and the coach’s philosophy should promote players’ well-being.
It is important not to send kids to play a sport that they’re unprepared to play. Make sure that your child knows how to play the sport before going out on the field. Your child should be adequately prepared with warm-ups and training sessions before practices as well as before games. This will help ensure that your child has fun and reduce the chances of an injury. In addition, your child should drink plenty of fluids and be allowed to rest during practices and games.
ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) is the first, most-widely used, and most scientifically validated computerized concussion evaluation system. It was developed to help clinicians evaluate an athlete’s recovery following concussion. ImPACT is a 20-minute neurocognitive test battery that has been scientifically validated to measure the effects of sports related concussion. In the preseason, each athlete is given a baseline test. And, when a concussion is suspected, during the season, a follow-up test is administered to see if the results have changed from the baseline. This type of concussion assessment can help to objectively evaluate the concussed athlete’s post-injury condition and track recovery for safe return to play, thus preventing the cumulative effects of concussion. This comparison helps to diagnose and manage the concussion. Follow-up tests can be administered over days or weeks so clinicians can continue to track the athlete’s recovery from the injury. IMPACT