OrthoVirginia Blog

Tips to Prevent Injuries as Youth Athletes Prepare for Fall Sports

OrthoVirginia Offers Tips to Prevent Injuries as Youth Athletes Prepare for Fall Sports

Today, it is estimated that 30 million U.S. children participate in organized sports. Unfortunately, every year a growing number need medical care for sports injuries.

Dr. Jody Smith, orthopaedic surgeon, specializing in sports medicine at OrthoVirginia, one of Virginia’s leading orthopaedic practices, offers tips to keep children safe and healthy as they prepare for and participate in fall sports activities.

“One goal for parents of school-age children who participate in sports should be to ensure that your child stays active, but does not over-train,” stated Dr. Smith, adding that “for children under 18, muscles, tendons and ligaments are still growing, which makes them more prone to injury.”

Dr. Smith offers the following tips to keep your child injury-free during the upcoming fall sports season.

  • Always warm up before playing. This may seem like the most common-sense advice in the world to us, but kids want to jump right in. A warm-up is always important.
  • Make sure your child uses the right protective gear and that it is appropriate for the sport and for your child’s age and build. Using properly fitted gear such as shin guards for soccer, a hard shell helmet for baseball, and helmets and body padding for ice hockey can reduce the chance of injury.
  • If your player is tired or not feeling well, sit it out. Injuries are more likely to occur during these times.
  • Take a day off. Even for the most competitive athletes, a day off once a week is appropriate to give mind and body a chance to rest and recover.
  • For injuries on the field, think ice, compression and elevation. Put ice on the affected area (10 minutes on, 10 minutes off), provide compression for areas that are swollen and elevate the injury.
  • OrthoVirginia offers Ortho On Call, with after-hours treatment on a walk-in basis at its St. Francis and St. Mary’s hospital sites in Richmond. These Ortho On Call clinics provide a cost-effective alternative to emergency room visits for children with sports injuries.

About OrthoVirginia

OrthoVirginia is an independent group of highly trained and hospital/insurance company-credentialed orthopaedic physician specialists and qualified staff who serve patients with any type of orthopaedic problem at 11 office locations throughout Virginia. The practice employs more than 350 clinical, technical, paraprofessional, support and administrative personnel in Virginia.

Of its 11 sites, six are considered primary clinics, which are in close proximity to the Richmond acute-care hospitals in which OrthoVirginia physicians operate, including the new OrthoVirginia office at the Boulders near Chippenham Hospital; Hanover; Henrico; Johnston-Willis; St. Francis; and St. Mary’s.

Additional sites include satellite offices on Laburnum Avenue in Richmond and in New Kent and Emporia, as well as fully staffed clinics in Farmville and Kilmarnock.

OrthoVirginia offers a full-service website, where patients may learn more about OrthoVirginia’s physicians and services. Visit orthovirginia.com.