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Sports Safety

Participating in sports is great for teens both physically and psychologically. Sports can increase an adolescent's physical coordination, fitness, and self-esteem. In addition, sports can teach teens about teamwork and self-discipline.

However, because an adolescent's body is still growing and his/her coordination is still developing, adolescents are more susceptible to sports injuries. Approximately 3.5 million adolescents ages 14 and under are treated for sports-related injuries each year. Half of all of those injuries can be prevented with proper use of safety gear, changes to the playing environment, and the establishment of sports rules that help prevent injuries.

Most childhood sports injuries occur due to the following factors:

  • lack of education and awareness about safety precautions and potential injury
  • inappropriate or lack of safety equipment
  • improperly conditioned children

The following are safety precautions recommended to prevent sports injuries in children and adolescents:

  • Appropriate safety gear and equipment should always be worn.
  • The playing environment should be safe.
  • The sport should be properly practiced with adolescents of similar size, skill level, and physical and emotional maturity.
  • Children and adolescents should be fit and mentally prepared.
  • Children and adolescents practicing a sport should be supervised by an adult who enforces the safety rules.
  • Children and adolescents should stay hydrated during and after sports.

There are many different sports-related injuries that require clinical care by a physician or other healthcare professional. Listed in the directory below are some, for which we have provided a brief overview.

If you cannot find the information in which you are interested, please visit the Adolescent Medicine Online Resources page in this Web site for an Internet/World Wide Web address that may contain additional information on that topic.

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