About 40 million children and adolescents participate in organized sports in the United States. According to a recent epidemiological study, children and adolescents 5- to 17-years old suffer 4.3 million sports and recreational activity related injuries each year.
The highest rates of injury appear to occur in sports that involve a high degree of contact, jumping, sprinting or pivoting such as football, soccer, basketball, hockey and rugby. There is also a high incidence of injury in sports like basketball and cross country track due to the repetitive nature of these activities.
Tips for preventing sports injuries
While a number of sports injuries are unavoidable, here are some simple tips you can use to help prevent common sports injuries:
Ready, Set, Prevent
Use these warm-up exercises to keep young athletes limber and injury-free.
Watch Ready, Set, Prevent »
Download the program outline »
Download the field tip sheet »
- Get a pre-season sports physical
- Participate in a proper warm-up before practice or games
- Allow proper rest time between events and sports
- Maintain a healthy and well-balanced diet
- Stay hydrated, especially during the summer months
- Don't specialize too early -- enjoy variety in your sports
- Wear proper and well fitting protective equipment
- Emphasize proper technique in all activities
- Recognize injury and respond in a timely manner