Play Hard, Not Hurt: Safety Tips for School Sports

As summer turns to fall, more than 7 million young people take to their school playing fields, dreaming of athletic glory. Without some advance planning and common-sense precautions, though, those dreams can quickly sour.

More than a million injuries related to high school sports occur each year, according to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA). Here are some tips for students, parents and school staff from NATA and other experts to help ensure that your young athlete stays on the path to glory.

Prepping for the Season

Preseason medical exam: All student athletes should undergo an annual physical to ensure they’re fit to play, as well as alert the coaching staff to any potential medical concerns, such as asthma or diabetes. Parents should complete an authorization form providing contact information and permission for emergency medical care.

Nutrition: For young athletes, a healthy diet offers plenty of complex carbohydrates, moderate amounts of protein, salt, sugars and sodium, and minimal amounts of fat, saturated fat and cholesterol. Check with a nutritionist for more details.

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