It’s that time of year again where kids are heading back to school, and the return of school brings the return of fall sports. As kids begin to increase their practices to come out with a winning season, the risk for injury increases. Almost 30 million kids are participating in sports across the country year-round, which leads to nearly 3 million injuries annually. About 1/3 of all childhood injuries are actually sports related.

So, what can kids do to prevent injuries upon returning to their sport?

Condition In The Off-Season

Thankfully, some of these injuries can be prevented. Making sure you are properly conditioned, warming up and stretching the body before movement, and allowing proper rest time are just some of the ways one can prevent injury this coming sport season. Making sure one is properly conditioned before going into their sport season is an important part of prevention. This usually requires some work in the off-season including maintaining one’s endurance, strength, and flexibility. Going straight from the couch to a sports activity without the proper training and fitness can lead to significant injuries, as sports are often high intensity.

Warm Up

With stretching and a proper warm-up, children can be more prepared to participate in sports and be less likely to get injured. Warming up through stretching and dynamic movement can bring blood flow to the tissues and allow the muscles to become more pliable and ready for activity. Moving quickly into sports without properly preparing the muscles can lead to greater risk of injury such as a muscle strain.

Try doing some dynamic warm-up movements such as:

  • High knees
  • Butt kicks
  • Shuffling
  • Arm circles
  • Lunges
  • Swinging legs out to the front, back, and side

Use Off-Days To Rest

Proper rest is also important for the body. With high intensity training, the body needs time to heal and repair itself after high stresses are placed on it. On days where there are no practices or games, take it easy and give the body time to rest. If the body has repetitive high stresses placed on it without proper healing time, it can lead to overuse injuries such as tendinitis. Of course, sometimes injuries happen even under the best of circumstances. If they do, contact Freedom Physical Therapy Services to help get you moving and back into the game!