Sports Safety--Prevention

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The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO
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Diseases & Conditions

Safety and Injury Prevention

Sports Safety--Prevention

Safety gear and equipment

Safety gear should be sport-specific and may include such items as goggles, mouthguards, shin-elbow-knee pads, and helmets. The safety gear worn by a child should fit properly. In addition, sports equipment (such as bats, baskets, and goals) should be in good working condition and any damage should be repaired or replaced. The playing area should be free from debris and water.

Physical checkup

To make sure your child is physically fit to participate in a particular sport, your child's doctor should conduct a "sports physical." These physicals can reveal your child's physical strengths and weaknesses and help determine which sports are appropriate. Most sports physicals for children include a health examination that measures height, weight, and vital signs, as well as check eyes, nose, ears, chest, and abdomen. In addition, your child's doctor may perform an orthopedic examination to check joints, bones, and muscles.

Age

Starting a child in sports too young will not benefit the child physically. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children begin participating in team sports at age 6, when they better understand the concept of teamwork. However, no two children are alike, and some may not be ready physically or psychologically to take part in a team sport even at age 6. A parent should base his or her decision on whether to allow the child to take part in a particular sport based on the following:

  • Age

  • Weight

  • Build

  • Physical development

  • Emotional development

  • Child's interest in the sport

Note: AAP recommends that late-developing teens avoid contact sports until their bodies have developmentally "caught up" to their peers' bodies.

The importance of hydration

As your child participates in sports, he or she will sweat. This sweat must be replaced with equal amounts of fluids each hour of intense sports activity. Your child should drink fluids before, during, and after each practice or game. To avoid stomach cramps from drinking large amounts of fluids at once, encourage your child to drink about one cup of water (or a type of sports drink) every 15 to 20 minutes. Drinks to avoid include those with carbonation and caffeine. The following are the most common symptoms of dehydration. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • Thirstiness

  • Weakness

  • Headache

  • Dark-colored urine

  • Slight weight loss

If your child exhibits signs of dehydration, make sure he or she receives fluids immediately, as well as a snack. The symptoms of dehydration may resemble other medical conditions or problems. Consult your child's doctor for a diagnosis.

Online Medical Reviewer: Larson, Kim APRN, FNP
Online Medical Reviewer: newMentor board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Last Review Date: 4/25/2013
© 2000-2014 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

We can't find this page

We're sorry, there doesn't seem to be anything at this address.



Please Search for what you're looking for in the top right corner of this page, or visit the homepage

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Boston Children's Hospital Locations

More Patient Resources



Still can't find what you need? Contact Us.

Request an Appointment

If this is a medical emergency, please dial 9-1-1. This form should not be used in an emergency.

Patient Information
Date of Birth:
Contact Information
Appointment Details
Send RequestIf you do not see the specialty you are looking for, please call us at: 617-355-6000.International visitors should call International Health Services at +1-617-355-5209.
Please complete all required fields

This department is currently not accepting appointment requests online. Please call us at: 617-355-6000. International +1-617-355-6000.

This department is currently not accepting appointment requests online. Please call us at: 617-355-6000. International +1-617-355-6000.

Thank you.

Your request has been successfully submitted

You will be contacted within 1 business day.

If you have questions or would like more information, please call:

617-355-6000+1-617-355-6000
close
Find a Doctor
Search by Clinician's Last Name or Specialty:
Select by Location:
Search by First Letter of Clinician's Last Name: *ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
BrowseSearch
Condition & Treatments
Search for a Condition or Treatment:
Show Items Starting With: *ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
View allSearch
Locations
“
The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO
Close