School is back in session and with it the beginning of the much-loved football season! The teams have been practicing for a few weeks, and the Friday night games have begun.
Football is the leading cause of school sports injuries. In 2012, approximately 466,492 people were treated for football related injuries in hospital emergency rooms.
Make this year the most injury-free season possible for your athlete by observing some preventative measures for both practice sessions and games.
1. As always, a good warm up before the game and a cool down routine following the game is essential. The warm up becomes even more important as the weather begins to turn cooler as we head into the fall season.
2. Make sure all of your equipment is in good condition and fits properly from the helmet to the footwear. Make sure you have ALL of the safety equipment you are required to wear.
3. Plan to take frequent water breaks to avoid becoming dehydrated and to help alleviate muscle cramps and fatigue.
4. Listen to your body and decrease training or playing if pain or discomfort develops. Avoid the pressure to over-train. To try and play through pain or discomfort may end up causing more damage to a slight sprain or strain turning it into an extended time out of practice or play. Sometimes it is wiser to play smarter than play harder.
5. Should you sustain an injury, listen to your healthcare provider and follow instructions in order to heal properly and completely. Avoid a season-ending complication from returning to practice or play too soon.
6. Have fun! These are activities to enhance your school years, not usually begin a professional career. Oftentimes, losing can teach you more than winning as a team and as an individual.
Good Luck and Have a Great Season!