Youth Sports Safety Month

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Youth sports provide tremendous opportunities for young people to have fun, socialize and maintain healthy and active lifestyles.  These benefits, however, must always accompany safety education and protocols to ensure the wellbeing of athletes on the playing field.

There are an estimated 25 million scholastic and another 20 million community-based sports programs organized across the country – that provides a lot of opportunity for kids to get hurt!

Every year, over 3 million kids will visit the emergency room and another 5 million will seek care from their pediatric doctors for sports-related injuries.  And because kids are still growing, even minor injuries are can have significant impacts on their long-term physical growth and development.


We have assembled a list of tips and recommendations that can help parents, coaches and administrators keep kids safe and out of the emergency room while participating in organized sports:

  • Have young athletes get a physical exam prior to starting a new season. These checkups can rule out unforeseen medical conditions and sport-specific health concerns.
  • Encourage proper warm-up and cool-down exercises that include stretching and light cardio activities. These routines increase circulation, promote flexibility and get the muscles and joints prepared for play.
  • Ensure young athletes drink plenty of water before, during and after strenuous activities to maintain healthy hydration levels.
  • Educate coaches and staff on the signals and warning signs of heat-related illnesses, particularly heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Both are potentially serious conditions that require immediate medical attention.

  • Build-in scheduled days of rest for young athletes to recover after playing sports. Rest is a key component of prevention as fatigued athletes are at much greater risk of both minor and serious injury.
  • Invest in quality protective gear applicable to individual sports and ensure the equipment fits and is worn properly by kids.
  • Encourage kids to play multiple sports throughout the course of a year to avoid the risks associated with overuse injuries.
  • Certify coaches and all on-the-field personnel in CPR and first-aid procedures.
  • Don’t allow kids to “play hurt” or “tough out the pain” due to injury or illness. Doing so only risks further injury and longer time to full recovery.
  • Practice the recommended protocols of “R.I.C.E “ for minor sports-related injuries – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.


To get involved on a local level during National Youth Sports Safety Month, try hosting an event spotlighting important safety measures parents, coaches and league officials can implement to keep kids safe from harm while playing their upcoming seasons.

Another idea is to reference and share the standard safety measures each sport’s governing body produces and publishes on an annual basis.

Please join Play Ball Youth Sports Magazine this April in creating awareness of sports-related injuries in kids and educate all involved on measures to improve the safety and wellbeing of young athletes out on the field.  Please go to Safe Kids Worldwide for more information.

Play Ball Youth Sports author bio and site description





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