Football safety and injury prevention tips for kids

With football season about to kick off, parents around the country worry about their student-athlete’s health. Because it is a high-impact, contact sport, football is the nation's leading cause of school-sport injuries due to the overuse of certain muscles or sudden injuries.

While you can’t be on the sideline or on the field with them, you want to make sure your child is safe. From peewee football to high school football, here are some helpful tips to keep your student-athlete safe and in the game.

Pre-season physical

Pre-season physicals are designed to determine an athlete’s physical condition to make sure they are healthy enough to participate in their sport. These visits can also help detect any hiding conditions that may prohibit your child from participating in contact sports for their safety.

Speak up when something isn’t right

Encourage your children to always communicate with their coaches or trainers if something doesn’t feel right. Many kids feel pressure to stay in the game even if they aren’t feeling 100 percent. This could lead to long term health problems if the injury never fully heals.

Know the signs of a concussion

Back in the day, seeing stars was just another part of the game. Today, however, scientists and doctors understand the significance of concussion. Similar to any other injury, make sure they do not play after having concussion-like symptoms as it could lead to irreversible brain damage.

If your child has any of combination of these symptoms after a game or practice, schedule an appointment with their pediatrician or get them to an urgent care center as quickly as possible.

  • Vomiting
  • Memory loss
  • Confusion
  • Dilated pupils
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Mood swings or extreme lethargy

Make sure they have the right equipment

Football gear can be expensive, especially if your athlete is growing faster than a weed. Before the season starts, make sure they have helmets, pads, cleats and mouth guards that fit them properly and that are worn correctly to avoid injury.

When injuries happen, you can trust the Sports Medicine experts at Overland Park Regional Medical Center to give your student-athlete the care they need.

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