For Immediate Release: April 22, 2010
Contacts: Kristin Milam 919-807-6011
Children 5-14 years old Sustain Nearly 40 Percent of All Sports Injuries
Safe Kids North Carolina provides tips for preventing injuries during Safe Kids Week
RALEIGH -- Children ages 5 to 14 account for nearly 40 percent of all sports-related injuries in this country according to statistics from Safe Kids USA. National Safe Kids Week, April 25-May 1, marks the beginning of "trauma season," and Safe Kids coalitions will hold events statewide to educate kids, parents and caregivers about the best ways to keep kids safe both on and off the court. [See attached list for local event information.]
"More than 30 million kids play sports every year in our country, and on average 3.5 million of these kids are treated for sports-related injuries in hospitals, clinics and emergency rooms annually," said Insurance Commissioner and Safe Kids North Carolina Chair Wayne Goodwin. "As a parent myself, I want to remind other parents in North Carolina that unintentional injuries remain the leading killer of kids; if there's a silver lining to this scary fact, it's that the majority of these injuries and deaths are preventable."
To keep your child safe during their sporting activities, follow these safety tips:
- Pre-Season Medical Screening: Every child should receive an annual pre-participation physical evaluation (PPE). These exams may prevent or treat any underlying conditions the young athlete may have.
- Safety gear: To prevent acute injuries, children playing sports should have access to and consistently use well-maintained safety equipment during both practices and games.
- Qualified coaching: Athletic coaches should be trained in both first aid and CPR, have a plan for responding to emergencies and have current knowledge of both safety rules and proper equipment use. Sports programs with certified Athletic Trainers on staff are ideal because they are trained to prevent or provide immediate care for athletic injuries.
- Proper Conditioning: To prevent acute and overuse injuries, coaches should teach young athletes proper routines for both warm-ups and cool-downs before and after practice and play. Sixty-two percent of sports-related injuries occur during practice rather than in a game.
- Hydration: Athletes should be encouraged to drink water before, during and after practice and competition.
- Rest: If young athletes are very tired or in pain, coaches and parents should encourage them to rest, not to play, as this valuable recovery time can help prevent acute and overuse injuries.
Safe Kids North Carolina reaches out to parents, caregivers and children in 64 counties served by 36 coalitions across the state. Through these coalitions and partnerships, more than six million people have access to Safe Kids North Carolina programming. For more safety tips and information, visit the Safe Kids North Carolina Web site by clicking on this link.