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Health tips for high-school athletes
“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, DO, a board-certified physician specializing in Sports Medicine at Kelsey-Seybold.
To help protect athletes’ health, Dr. Tabor advises:
- Stretching: Gradually warm up and stretch prior to the 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: Use sunscreen with an 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 has worked closely with and provided medical coverage for several Houston-area high schools and has been appointed to the concussion committee for multiple school districts.