Researchers at the University of Calgary are hoping to devise ways to cut youth sports injuries by up to 20% by the year 2020. Over a third of youths suffer a serious sports injury, according to the researchers, and the scientists hope to work with more than 20 researchers across the world to develop plans for injury prevention. In the meantime, safety experts and researchers maintain that there are many things that can be done to prevent sports injury among children and youths:
1) Change the rules in youth sports to reduce violence. According to the University of Calgary researchers, rates of concussions could be reduced by changing the rules – by banning body checking in ice hockey games among younger children, for example.
2) Create stricter rules regarding initial head injuries. One of the issues with brain injury patients in Homestead and other communities is that initial head injuries can make further injury even more serious. A child who has sustained a concussion, for example, can be vulnerable to a life-threatening head trauma if they are hit on the head again before the first injury has healed. Safety experts recommend that when a sports injury in Homestead or another community occurs, it is important to get the player checked out by a doctor and to avoid returning the athlete to the game until a doctor confirms that they are fully healed. It is also important to get a doctor’s checkup for any head injury, since some head injuries – even those that do not seem serious at first – can be life-threatening.
3) Ensure proper use of sports equipment at all times. Contact sports require helmets to prevent head injury while other sports may require mouth guards, special padding, and other safety equipment. Pediatricians and doctors agree that everyone plays a role in making sure that student athletes and youth athletes wear the right safety gear. Coaches should encourage students to wear the right gear, even in practice. Parents can ensure that their children have the right gear at all times and schools can step in to provide a budget for safety equipment. The challenge with youth athletes is that gear can get worn down or outgrown, so there needs to be many checks in place to make sure that athletes are protected.
4) Use sports-specific injury prevention techniques. Each sport has its own dangers. Cheerleading, for example, has a high fall risk, which can mean a danger of spinal cord injury for Homestead and Florida athletes. Practicing on padded floors and keeping pyramids smaller can help reduce some of the risk.
5) Hire coaches and support staff carefully. Coaches should be carefully trained to provide a safe environment and there should be policies in place to ensure that athletes train safely.
6) Build athlete’s skills gradually. One of the most common causes of youth sports injury in Homestead and other communities, according to safety experts, comes from athletes trying too much too soon. It is important that athletes build skills and strength gradually, never trying moves or plays that exceed their skill level.
Has your child been injured in a school class or while playing for a sports team? Do you think that negligence may have played a role? To find out what you can do, contact the attorneys at Flaxman Law Group at any time to arrange a free consultation.