Louisiana -- As winter turns into spring and temperatures increase, so does the amount of time that children spend outdoors playing spring sports. This means that the number of injuries to children can also increase.
Each year, more than 30 million children participate in sports in the United States and more than 3.5 million children ages 14 and under are treated for sports injuries. While collision and contact sports are associated with higher rates of injury, injuries from individual sports tend to be more severe.
In team sports, most injuries - 62 percent - occur during practices, not games. "The most common types of sport-related injuries in children are sprains (mostly ankle), muscle strains, bone or growth plate injuries, repetitive motion injuries, and heat-related illness."
"When we think of sports injuries, we tend to think of dramatic tackles or falls - such as the plays you often see on highlight reels, but young athletes are also at risk of injuries," says Sarah Anders Executive Director. "If your coach recommends certain types of warm-ups, it's not just to make you a better athlete - it will help keep you from getting hurt."
Safe Kids Louisiana recommends these precautions for all children playing or practicing any individual or team sport:
Last but not least: "Stay hydrated," says Sarah Anders. "Drink plenty of water or electrolyte sports drinks before and during the activity, and rest frequently during hot weather. A child can lose up to a quart of sweat during two hours of exercise, and kids get overheated more quickly than adults and cannot cool down as easily."
For more information about sports safety, call Safe Kids Louisiana at 225-342-7077 or visit www.usa.safekids.org.
Safe Kids Louisiana works to prevent accidental childhood injury, the leading killer of children 14 and under. Safe Kids Louisiana is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing accidental injury. Safe Kids Louisiana was founded in 1994 and is led by Louisiana Office of Public Health Maternal Child Health Program and Children's Hospital.