Prevent Injuries

Coaches and parents can prevent injuries by promoting an atmosphere of healthy competition emphasizing self-reliance, confidence, cooperation, and a positive self-image, rather than just winning. Young athletes need proper training before participating in a sport; they should not expect the sport itself to get them into shape. injuries can be prevented if children participate in a regular conditioning program designed by a coach. it is also important that parents make sure their child's coaches are qualified to supervise a particular sport, provide well-maintained safety equipment, and help with proper conditioning.

Alarmingly, experts estimate that at least 500,000 young athletes use black-market anabolic steroids to improve their athletic performance. Although these types of steroids can increase muscle mass, they also cause serious and potentially life-threatening complications.

Children playing sports should follow these guidelines to reduce injuries:

• Follow the rules of the sport.

• Wear appropriate protective gear (for example, shin guards for soccer, a hard-shell helmet when facing a baseball pitcher, a helmet for bike riding).

• Check equipment first and know how to use athletic equipment (breakaway bases have dramatically reduced leg injuries in children).

• Always warm up before playing.

• Avoid playing when very tired or in pain.

sprain An overstretched and partly torn ligament, which holds bones together. it is more serious than a strain, which is simply an overstretching of any part of the musculature. Sprains and strains usually cause swelling, pain, and bruises around the injured area. After medical evaluation, most sprains can be treated at home.

if a sprain involves a child's neck or back, he should not be moved unless the child is in imminent danger. Movement can cause serious nerve damage. if the child must be moved, the neck and back must be completely immobilized first and the head, neck, and back aligned.

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