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National Safety Month

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Everybody involved in sports should help raise awareness of sports safety, and the advent of National Safety Month in June is a great excuse to do so. There are many sports camps held across the country every summer and participants should follow sound safety practices. An injury can drain the enjoyment out of sports games. 

National Safety Month

If you are involved in coaching or training young athletes, or if you are a parent of a sports participant, consider these tips for ensuring safety: 

  • Communicate – Talk with young athletes about coming to you if they experience any pain or discomfort. 
  • Require a pre-season physical – Asking athletes to submit a physical exam is the best way to determine if they are fit to exercise. A doctor can determine if there are any conditions that will prevent them from playing. 
  • Encourage cross training – Help young athletes train using a wide variety of exercises to prevent the buildup of stress on the same joints and muscles. 
  • Stress the importance of warming up –A proper warm-up routine should be part of every athlete’s regimen. Stretching prior to working out will help prevent injuries. 
  • Give breaks – Athletes of any age must rest in between practices or games. Muscle fatigue and lack of sleep are open invitations for injury. 
  • Advocate a healthy diet – Eating well is crucial to performing well in sports activities. Good nutrition gives athletes the energy and stamina to continue playing. 
  • Emphasize hydration – Heat-related illnesses can be serious problems for athletes, especially during summer training. Parents and coaches should stress the importance of drinking enough water before, during, and after each game or training session. 
  • Require proper equipment – Protective equipment, such as shoes, pads, and helmets, is necessary to prevent injuries. Parents should purchase the appropriate gear before their kids start their sports season. 
  • Emphasize proper techniques and guidelines – There are rules for every sport. Using the proper playing techniques and following the rules of the game will help prevent injuries among athletes, especially in contact sports. 
  • Recognize injuries and get help early – Athletes should not take an injury for granted. In many instances, sports players will simply ignore pain because they want to keep playing. Make sure that athletes stop when things start hurting and see a medical authority for a proper diagnosis. 

Summer is the time to enjoy sports. Taking precautions to keep everyone safe while playing will make athletic practices and competitions far more enjoyable.