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Keep young athletes injury-free in April

Optimized-YouthSports (2)When: April

What: Youth sports offers children a way to stay active and learn about teamwork and healthy competition. Whether playing football, cheerleading, soccer, or something else, young athletes can typically be found year-round, running through fields and practicing to perfect their skills. But with sports often comes injury, which can be hard to avoid. In April, learn more about possible injuries during Youth Sports Safety Month.

Background: According to STOP (Sports Trauma and Overuse Prevention)­ Sports Injuries, the incidence of youth sports injuries is a growing epidemic. The mission of STOP Sports Injuries and its sponsored Youth Sports Safety Month is to prevent injuries and “keep kids in the game for life” by playing smarter and more safely.

Story Pitch: A number of groups and organizations can pitch around Youth Sports Safety Month. Sports equipment producers and retailers will want to note the importance of being properly equipped for sports. They can highlight the need for proper protection, including eye wear, helmets and padding. In addition, high schools may want to promote the need for sports safety and awareness for their players, offering physical services and equipment checks for all athletes. Pediatricians may also speak with patients and parents about sports safety and how staying fit helps reduce injury.

Story Hook: According to the Youth Sports Safety Alliance, only 42 percent of high schools have access to athletic training services. In addition, 62 percent of organized sports-related injuries actually occur during practice. Consider the following when you make your pitch:

  • How can cheerleaders, who perform stunts but don’t wear padding, protect themselves from serious sports injuries?
  • At what age should children begin wearing protective sports equipment?
  • What is the proper equipment needed for football? For other sports?
  • Which youth sports have higher incidences of injury? How could these be avoided?
  • How can young athletes play a smarter and safer game?

Tips: A youth sports coach who puts emphasis on safety would have good insight into how to prepare a team properly. In addition, student athletes who have suffered from sports injuries can shed light on their conditions and offer tips on how to prevent them.

Resources:

National Center for Sports Safety
(203) 329-7535
info(at)sportssafety.org
www.sportssafety.org

National Council of Youth Sports
(772) 781-1452
youthsports(at)ncys.org
www.ncys.org

STOP Sports Injuries
(847) 655-8660
info(at)stopsportsinjuries.org
www.stopsportsinjuries.org

Youth Sports Safety Alliance
(214) 637-6282
www.youthsportssafetyalliance.org

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