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Staying Safe in Spring Sports

Posted by Bradley Thayer | Apr 28, 2016 | 0 Comments

Our focus at Schauermann Thayer is on personal injury law in Washington and Oregon.  Now that Spring is here, we're always interested in seeing that local youth in the Vancouver-Portland metropolitan area take safety precautions in sports and other forms of exercise and play.  So, we did some research on common injuries and how to avoid them.

As “SafeKids WorldWide” observes:

Kids are going to fall, crash, slip and tumble. It's all part of being a kid, and we wouldn't want it any other way. But there are little things we can all do to ensure that kids avoid the more serious injuries that can lead to disabilities and even death.”

Due to the wide array of springtime sports, injuries will vary.

  • Injuries from throwing and racquet sports (tennis, baseball) include shoulder and elbow injuries, etc.
  • Running sports can cause knee injuries, ankle injuries, and shin splints.

Concussions can occur in any sport, if forceful contact to the head or body occurs. Always report symptoms of a concussion to a coach or athletic trainer. Symptoms can include:

  • Confusion
  • Headache
  • Upset stomach
  • Blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to light or sound
  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy
  • Memory problems

Sports concussions can be a serious health problem. They require early identification, careful evaluation, and specialized management before your child or teen should return to the field and play.

The National Safety Council offers these guidelines to help your kids stay safe:

  • Adequately train: Make sure your kids are in proper physical condition for the sport they're playing. Don't expect the sport itself to get them in shape.
  • Play by the rules: Be sure your kids know and abide by the rules of their sport. Rules are designed to keep play safe and organized.
  • Wear protective equipment: Don't let your kids play without appropriate protective gear, such as a helmet, eye protection, mouth guard, wrist/knee/elbow guards, pads, footwear, etc. Make sure equipment meets national standards, is in good condition, and is properly fitted.
  • Warm up, stretch and cool down: Have your kids warm up with a low intensity cardiovascular activity to get body tissues warm and flexible. Have them stretch to help minimize the chance of muscle strain or other soft tissue injury. Have them cool down to loosen the body's muscles that have tightened during exercise. Teach them to make warm ups, stretches and cool downs part of their sports routine.
  • Stay hydrated: Schedule regular fluid breaks for your kids during practice and games. Proper hydration is a continuous process. Be sure they drink enough fluids before and after exercise.
  • Don't play if tired or in pain: Pay attention to your children's body's warning signs. If they are tired, allow them to rest to avoid injury from fatigue or poor judgment. If they're in pain, have them stop playing and seek medical treatment. If they're injured, be sure they take enough time off – otherwise they'll run a greater risk of re-injury if they come back too soon.

We applaud the efforts of the group Safe Kids Worldwide, and their efforts at the Portland Zoo this May 7th, where,  “Exhibits and activities will focus on taking simple steps to prevent injuries this summer, like wearing bicycle helmets and life jackets, and emphasizing the need for constant supervision of children around water. Safety stations around the zoo will comprise a safety safari.”

About the Author

Bradley Thayer

Brad Thayer is an associate at the Schauermann Thayer firm. Brad is licensed in both Oregon and Washington. He has been practicing law since 2015. Brad's practice focuses on automobile collision, motorcycle, bicycle, pedestrian injury, dog bite, and a myriad of other types of injury and insurance cases. During his free time, Brad enjoys following the Portland Trailblazers, playing basketball. going to concerts, and playing the drums. He especially enjoys hiking in the Columbia River Gorge and exploring other Northwest wonders.

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