Sports Safety for School Children

More than ten million children in the United States participate in organized sports each year and unfortunately, millions of children are injured in these programs. Injuries can occur in any sport; however, some sports have a higher rate of injury.

The following suggestions can help reduce the risk for sports-related injuries in school-age children:

  • Encourage proper stretching and warming up before and cooling down after all games and practices.
  • Always provide protective gear:
    • Appropriate shoes that fit properly
    • Helmet, protective padding, shin guards, mouth guard, protective cup
    • Eye protection, face protection
  • Make sure playing fields are appropriate and in good condition. Report any safety concerns to your child's coach or game official.
  • Make sure there is a first-aid kit available for all sport practices and games.
  • Provide plenty of water to avoid heat-related illness and a snack for adequate energy.
  • Make sure the coach is trained in first-aid and CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and has an emergency response plan.
  • Make sure your child uses sunscreen during peak sun hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 28 Aug 2008

Last Modified: 15 Nov 2012