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Back to School: Avoiding Sports Injuries

Rolling into the month of August, many parents are anticipating the start of a new school year. Back to school is a busy time for families. If you are a parent, you are likely prepping your kids by obtaining items from their school supply list as well as new clothing and shoes for the year ahead. As you check off items on your back to school list, do not neglect health and physical preparation.

How can you help your child avoid injury as sports start ramping up this fall? Consider the following tips for staying healthy this school year.

  • Take your child in for a sports physical. Some schools require a permission form to participate in school sports. However, not all athletic programs mandate a check-up with a family physician. Make sure there aren’t any existing conditions or previous injuries that could be detrimental to your child’s health.
  • Send your child prepared! Just as you get your son or daughter ready for school with the right supplies, you should gear up your child with the right equipment. Always send at least one water bottle to avoid dehydration. In addition, make sure your child’s sporting equipment is in good condition. Check helmets, pads and other protective items to ensure they are in good working order.
  • Invest in the right footwear to avoid injury. Most sports require very specific shoes to ensure performance and protection. As your foot and ankle support the entire body during most sports, it is imperative that you start with the proper foundation to avoid getting hurt. Have your child sized for shoes before purchasing and consider orthotics for additional support.
  • Conditioning and stretching are key for being prepared to start up a new sport. Kids are typically pretty active over the summer, but time off from sports during break can set them back. Just as with adults, jumping right into a demanding exercise routine can be rough on the body. Encourage your child to ease into things by stretching and doing some conditioning exercises.