What can kids do to keep from getting hurt while playing sports?

Here are five tips from Robin Bousquet, a senior physical therapist at the Sports Medicine Center for Young Athletes in Walnut Creek:

1 PREPARE FOR YOUR SPORT. Don’t expect the first days of practice to get you in shape; you need to be in shape for the first day of practice. That means cardio-vascular, strength, endurance, and flexibility training.

2 KNOW PROPER TECHNIQUES. Whether it is landing a back handspring, or changing directions during a soccer game, learn the technique that fits your sport.

3 TAKE A BREAK. Make sure you have rest intervals, which decrease injuries and prevent heat illness. The length depends on the sport: longer breaks are needed for high-intensity sports or workouts.

4 YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT (AND DRINK). Follow the best practices for nutrition and hydration to decrease fatigue, which can lead to injuries.

5 DRESS SMART and wear the right gear. The appropriate gear, such as good shoes and helmets, will protect you from preventable injuries.


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