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What precautions should my child take while playing sports?

If your child plays a sport, make sure that any equipment she needs is the correct size and in good repair. If the sport requires safety gear, such as a helmet, knee or elbow pads or a face mask, make sure that she uses it -- and that the coach or other adult who's in charge of the activity enforces the use of these items. You should also sign her up for a team that matches her abilities -- so that she doesn't get hurt or discouraged.

During practices and games, make sure that she has plenty of cold water and, if she's outside, is wearing sunscreen. Check to see that there are adults trained in CPR in case of any injuries. Game days aren’t the only time to have your guard up. More injuries occur during practice, rather than games, so make sure your child is wearing protective equipment anytime she is playing sports.
While playing sports, children should ensure they stay hydrated before, during, and after exercise. Children have a decreased tolerance to environmental extremes, particularly heat and humidity. This is due to their immature thermo-regulatory systems accompanied by a delayed response and limited ability to sweat in response to the heat and humidity. Intense exercise in these conditions should be limited to 30 minutes, including frequent rest periods.
Casey Smith
Sports Medicine
A very simple, yet effective step you can take for the safety of your child is for him or her to wear a mouthguard in contact sports.  Too often we think of mouthguards only in collision sports like football or hockey, but sports such as basketball and soccer are also contact sports and a simple device like a mouthguard can protect your child.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.