The arrival of warmer weather signals the start of many outdoor activities, including youth league sports. April is National Youth Sports Safety Month and Maury Regional Medical Center (MRMC) offers some guidelines on helping youngsters stay safe and healthy while participating in their favorite pastimes.
The National Youth Sports Safety Foundation estimates that five million children require treatment in emergency rooms each year because of sports injuries. Sports injuries are the second most frequent cause of injury for both boys and girls.
According to Marcus Harris, a certified athletic trainer with MRMC’s Physical Medicine Department who works with athletes at Mt. Pleasant High School and Columbia State Community College, many sports injuries can be prevented.
“Playing sports is a great way for young people to learn the importance of teamwork while getting the benefits of physical fitness,” said Harris. “As parents and coaches, we can help reduce the risk that a child will be injured while playing sports.”
To help make sure that children stay healthy while playing sports, parents are encouraged to consider these suggestions:
- Schedule a pre-season physical examination with the child’s physician.
- Make certain that necessary protective equipment is being used and that it fits the child well.
- Be sure the child warms up with stretching prior to practice and game time.
- Never allow a child to play sports while injured or fatigued.
- Ensure that the player maintains a well-balanced diet and remains hydrated.
- Keep the focus on having fun instead of placing pressure on a child to excel or win.
- Know the signs and symptoms of a concussion. Seek immediate medical treatment for a child who appears dazed or confused, has trouble with vision or balance, experiences nausea or headaches, or loses consciousness.
“Participating in team sports as a youngster can help to instill the importance of exercise and working with others even into adulthood,” said Harris. “By making certain that your child is physically ready before each practice and game, you are helping to prevent injury and ensure that the experience will be a good one.”
About Maury Regional Medical Center:
Maury Regional Medical Center is a 275-bed facility that serves more than 260,000 people in southern Middle Tennessee and has a medical staff of more than 200 physicians. From a comprehensive interventional and surgical heart program to a neonatal intensive care and cancer center, the medical center offers a wide range of advanced services. The medical center was recognized in 2013 as one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals by Truven Health Analytics as well as one of the nation’s top health systems in 2011 and 2012. Maury Regional serves as the flagship for a group of facilities including Marshall Medical Center in Lewisburg, Wayne Medical Center in Waynesboro, Lewis Health Center in Hohenwald and Spring Hill Health Center in Spring Hill. A second facility will open in Spring Hill in 2013. For more information, visit mauryregional.com.
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