Dr. Rachel Brewer is a Sports Medicine Specialist at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children in Denver, CO. Dr. Brewer is a proud parent, coach, and supporter of Girls on the Run!
Spring is finally here! Which means spring sports are in full swing. If you have a child/children in sports you’re going to want to keep reading because Dr. Brewer is sharing some important tips for injury prevention in youth athletes.
Injury Prevention Tips for the Youth Athlete
- Any sport your young athlete may participate in comes with a risk of injury. Injuries can be traumatic in nature or due to overuse. However, there are some general guidelines you can follow to keep young athletes healthy.
- Don’t over-train. It usually becomes clear when a child is over-training in a sport. Fatigue, pain or disinterest in the sport are common signs that a child is developing an overuse injury. Make sure your young athlete has built in rest days in the weeks of scheduled sports activities and listen if they complain of pain or fatigue.
- Strengthen muscles. Core strengthening and resistance exercises in addition to consistent flexibility training can help prevent overuse injuries. Doing this consistently 2-3 days a week is a great habit.
- Have the right gear. Make sure your young athlete has the appropriate gear for their sport. Protective equipment (for example, pads, helmets, mouth-guards, etc.) helps prevent traumatic injuries.
- Focus on the right techniques. As your young athlete develops in their sport, make sure they have the right guidance from trained coaches or parents. Inaccurate technique makes them prone to overuse injuries.
- Don’t let your athlete play through pain. Listen to your young athlete if they complain of pain or joint symptoms.
- Appropriate nutrition/rest. Adequate nutrition and sleep are key for allowing your young athlete to recover from strenuous training and prevents overuse injuries.
- Focus on fun! Helping your athlete focus on fun and development in their sport helps reduce the risk of burnout so they can continue to stay active.
To learn more about Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children or Dr. Brewer visit RMHC’s website.