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Health & Wellness
Communicating About Sports Safety

From Dr. Jamie A. Freishtat MD, FAAP, Safety Advocate, Spokesperson, Blogger, Safe Kids USA Last month, I participated in an online webinar entitled Preventing Youth Sports Injury: What Every Parent, Child and Coach Needs to Know.  During the event, orthopedic surgeon Dr. John Hurley, athletic trainer David Csillan and I provided tips for keeping kids safe from sports injuries.  Sponsored by Safe Kids USA and founding sponsor Johnson & Johnson, the webinar also allowed parents, coaches, trainers and other participants to ask questions of the panelists. One of the things I discussed during my session was the importance of communication between parents, their kids and their coaches.  Recently, I’ve also written on ways to help your kids stay safe and healthy.  Sports injury prevention goes beyond making sure your kids have the right equipment and drink plenty of fluids.  It also includes successful communication between all parties: parents, kids and coaches.  Talk to your kids.  Have a healthy discussion about you and your child’s goals for the season.  Foster realistic expectations and stress the importance of safety throughout the season.  You are your child’s number one cheerleader, and by encouraging a conversation about sports safety, you can help to decrease the chances of an injury. Talk to the coach. Your kids spend a lot of time with their coach, so it’s important to have a dialogue with him or her.  Find out about their background, their knowledge of sports safety, and coaching style.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Keeping your kids safe is a top priority during the sports season.  As a mother of two energetic boys, I know that being active sometimes ends in injury.  It doesn’t have to.  Take the time to talk to your children, their coach, athletic trainers, and anyone else who may play a role in keeping your child safe and happy on the field. For more information, I encourage you to watch the webinar: Preventing Youth Sports Injury: What Every Parent, Child and Coach Needs to Know.  Also, visit http://www.safekids.org/  for injury prevention tips in many other important areas.