There is plenty that parents and coaches can do to protect high school aged players in sports. Teens are inexperienced; lack the physical ability that adults do, so they must be taught how to play safely and how to condition their bodies so that they can be physically fit. Parents and coaches can take the following steps to ensure the safety of teens while participating in sports.
Teens should be grouped according to skill level and to their size, and not just by age. This is especially important in contact sports.
Sports that Fit
The person should be matched to the sport and not the other way around. Teens should not be pushed to participate in a sport that they are not physically capable of doing.
Parents should seek out sports programs that enroll certified athletic trainers. Certified athletic trainers besides being knowledgeable about the particular sport are also trained to prevent, recognize, and to give immediate first-aid to sports injuries.
When Injuries Happen
All teens should be required to have a preseason physical examination.
No high schooler should be allowed to play when injured. It is not good to “work through the pain”, as this can cause further injury.
Parents and coaches are responsible for knowing and following the rules of the game and to see that all teens follow the rules for safety sake.
There should be a safe environment for teens to play sports in that includes proper safety equipment, properly working and maintained sports equipment, proper footwear and other safety gear such as helmets, pads, athletic supports and mouth guards.
Injuries can be caused by improperly fitting shoes, lack of protection, faulty equipment, unsecured soccer goals, and a poor playing field (holes and uneven ground).
Teens should only play after they know and understand the rules of the game, are taught how to play safely and have all properly fitting safety gear. They should know how to use athletic equipment. Teens should not play while they are tired or sick. Teens should have warm-ups and cool downs as part of the routine for participating in the sport.
Tips for Preventing High School Sports Injuries
Try not to bend your knees past the 90 degrees when doing half knee bends.
Avoid twisting your knees by keeping your feet flat on the ground.
Land with your feet bent while you are jumping.
Do your best not to overdo exercising or playing in games. Take turns playing.
It is vital to wear properly fitting shoes for proper shock absorption and stability.
Run only on flat surfaces, but not on asphalt or concrete.