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