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.
- Get pre-participation physical exams: This will determine readiness and uncover any condition that may limit participation.
- 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.
- Check all equipment and playing surfaces: Make sure there aren’t conditions that could affect play or safety.
- 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.
- Play smart: Athletes, parents and coaches should be well educated on the risks of concussion and recognize the symptoms.
- Heat is a consideration: Educate players on signs of heat illness.
- 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.
- Play with heart but protect it: Sudden cardiac arrest is a life threatening health issue. Important to have access to an on site defibrillator.
- Eat to drink and win: This includes a balanced and healthy diet. Improper hydration also increases the risk of injury.
- 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