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Help Your Young Athlete Prevent Sports Injury
My 15-year-old son just joined his high school football team. As a parent, how can I help prepare him for the sport?
"You can make sure that your son is rested and hydrated, and pays attention to pain," says orthopedic surgeon Oladapo Alade, M.D., a sports medicine specialist at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic. "Any athlete should stretch the muscles he will be using during an activity about 10 minutes prior to exercising."
Teen athletes involved in football, cheerleading, drill team or volleyball, juggle school work and extracurricular work into their busy school day. If their bodies don't get the proper amount of rest, they may be prone to injury.
"Injuries are more likely to happen when your young athlete is tired, so teach him to know his body's limits and get plenty of rest," Dr. Alade adds. "Remind your teen that some soreness can be expected when beginning a new sport."
Be sure to keep these items handy:
- Sports drinks to help replace electrolytes
- Sun block with an SPF of 30
- Protective gear such as elbow, knee and shin guards, and sometimes ankle braces to help prevent common injuries in young athletes.
"Pain that persists or results after an injury should be looked at by your doctor," concludes Dr. Alade, who cares for patients at Kelsey-Seybold's Main Campus near the Texas Medical Center and The Vintage locations.