by Apple Therapy

National Youth Sports Safety Month is observed in April. Sports serve an important role in the development of children’s physical abilities, social life, identity and self-esteem. While the importance of youth sports can’t be understated, safety sometimes takes a back seat. Youth Sports Safety Month is dedicated to raising awareness of youth sports injury education and prevention.

With spring sports season kicking off, now is the perfect time to raise awareness and practice sports safety at ball games, track meets, and on the playing fields. Here are some tips for coaches and families of youth athletes:

  • Before the sports season starts, make sure you have an up-to-date physical exam. If applicable, it’s also important to complete any pre-participation paperwork and screenings with your school/organization’s athletic trainer
  • If your school or organization does not have an athletic trainer on staff, talk to the coaches directly about any pertinent medical information (allergies, asthma, recent orthopedic injury history, etc.)
  • Coaches should be certified in first aid and CPR. It’s also important to learn the signs and symptoms of a concussion. For more info on concussion education, visit: CDC Heads Up
  • Stay hydrated! Make sure athletes have a water bottle to practice and games and access to a water jug/hose/water fountain for refills. Offering ample water breaks can improve performance. Water breaks should not be viewed as a privilege for hard work, but rather a tool to success
  • Make sure there is time set aside before every practice and game for athletes to warm up properly. Wearing the appropriate clothing and equipment is equally important.
  • Include rest days to ensure athletes are recovering and reduce risk of overuse injuries

Apple Therapy is a proud sponsor of Safe Sports Network, a nonprofit dedicated to youth sports safety in the greater Manchester New Hampshire area. To learn more about the impact of Safe Sports Network in our community, click here.