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Q: Our son just joined his high-school football team. What health advice can I give him?

A: “When participating in sports-related activities, young athletes can get excited and overexert themselves. It’s a good idea to give them advice on how to protect their health,” says Stephen Tabor, D.O., a board-certified physician specializing in Sports Medicine in Kelsey-Seybold Clinic’s Orthopedics Department.

To help protect athletes’ health, Dr. Tabor’s advises:

  • Stretching. Gradually warm-up and stretch prior to main activity.
  • Wearing protective gear. Elbow, knee and shin guards and in some cases ankle braces, help prevent some common injuries.
  • Getting adequate rest. Teen athletes juggle school with their extracurricular sports activities and need the proper amount of rest. They may be more prone to injury when tired.
  • Staying hydrated. Before feeling thirsty, drink water or sports drinks to help replace electrolytes.
  • Using sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or higher.
  • Paying attention to pain. Young athletes must learn their limits – and when to stop their participation.

“Persistent pain may be a warning sign of an injury and indicate a need to be examined by a doctor,” advises Dr. Tabor, who welcomes new patients at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic at Pearland.

Dr. Tabor has worked closely with and provided medical coverage for several Houston-area high schools and been appointed to the concussion committee for multiple school districts.​