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Make a Plan for Sports Safety

Dr. Sigfredo Acosta-Perez Health and Wellness, Safety

Organized sports are a great option for children.

Not only can participating in sports improve motor skills, but it can also improve overall fitness. Being part of a team is also important in teaching our youth social skills.

While organized sports are generally safe, injuries do occur. Each year, children and teens in the U.S. have more than 2.5 million sports-related injuries. The most common sports injuries are sprains, strains and stress fractures.

To help prevent injuries from sidelining your child, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend the following:

• Seek a qualified coach who will create a positive, safe learning environment for your child.

• Help your child get in shape before he/she starts playing. Ask the coach about conditioning programs.

• Make sure your child learns the rules and proper techniques of the sport.

• See that your child has all the protective gear needed and that the gear fits properly.

• Supply your child with plenty of fluids to drink before, during and after playing.

• Encourage your child to take at least one day off per week from playing a specific sport. This will help their body recover and reduce the risk of injury.

• Emphasize fun. Too much pressure to win or excel at a sport can lead to injuries.

If your child is in need of a sports physical, make an appointment with Dr. Sigfredo Acosta-Perez at Community Care – Corcoran East, 1310 Hanna Ave., with a phone number of 559-992-8200 or at Community Care – Riverdale, 3567 W. Mt. Whitney Ave., with an office number of (559) 867-7200. More information may be found at