With spring sports beginning for over 40 million young athletes, the National Athletic Trainers Association has ten tips for parents, coaches, and administrators to help prevent injuries and ensure a safe season.

  1. Get pre-participation physical exams: This will determine readiness and uncover any condition that may limit participation.
  2. Make sure children are physically and mentally “in shape”: Don’t push children into something they don’t want or are not ready to do.
  3. Check all equipment and playing surfaces: Make sure there aren’t conditions that could affect play or safety.
  4. Keep surfaces, locker rooms and equipment clean: Keeping surfaces clean before and after play can prevent illnesses. All players should be reminded to wash their hands and shower. Floors should be kept clean at all times.
  5. Play smart: Athletes, parents and coaches should be well educated on the risks of concussion and recognize the symptoms.
  6. Heat is a consideration: Educate players on signs of heat illness.
  7. Find out who is taking care of the team: In case of injury, know who the athletic trainer is and where the first aid kit is.
  8. Play with heart but protect it: Sudden cardiac arrest is a life threatening health issue. Important to have access to an on site defibrillator.
  9. Eat to drink and win: This includes a balanced and healthy diet. Improper hydration also increases the risk of injury.
  10. Establish an emergency medical plan: It should include individual assignments and location of emergency equipment.

— National Athletic Trainers Association

Gene Schafer, A.T.C
Owner, ARC Athletics

By Gene Schafer / April 8, 2014