With the school year coming to an end, more of our days are spent out on the soccer field or in right field. Unfortunately, with an increase in sports activity parents worry more about their children’s risk of sports injury. More than 2.6 million children and adolescents are treated in the emergency department each year for sports and recreation-related injuries. In fact, children aged 15-17 experience the highest emergency room visits for sports injuries, many of which are preventable. These injuries are not limited to contact sports; in fact as many as 70 percent of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) knee injuries involve little or no contact with the other player.
DePuy Synthes Mitek Sports Medicine has worked with sports medicine orthopedic practices and Safe Kids Worldwide™ for nearly a decade to host educational clinics throughout the country to keep kids moving. This program, called PASSION2PLAY™, educates parents, coaches and young athletes about the importance of preventing sports-related injuries through sponsored educational clinics featuring clinical experts as well as tips for proper warm-up routines, injury prevention strategies and when it might be necessary to seek appropriate medical attention for injuries.
The latest PASSION2PLAY event with Safe Kids Worldwide featured professional football player Rueben Randle, who joined local teens in Waldwick, New Jersey and shared his experience with sports injury in the NFL and the importance of stretching and warming up. A local surgeon spoke about injury prevention, while physical trainers ran through drills and an obstacle course with the young athletes that participated. To date, clinics like this one have reached an estimated 20,000 parents, coaches and young athletes.
While injuries will happen, we all must play an active role in helping prevent them. Check out the Safe Kids Worldwide website for some important tips on keeping children safe on the playing field. If you are a parent, talk to your child and your child’s coach about these tips and encourage them to take an active role in injury prevention.
You can learn more about PASSION2PLAY by visiting the program’s Facebook page.
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 Sports Injuries: The Reality. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/safechild/Sports_Injuries/index.html. Accessed May 2015.
 Wier L, Miller A, Steiner C. Sports Injuries in Children Requiring Hospital Emergency Care, 2006. HCUP Statistical Brief #75. June 2009. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs/sb75.pdf.
 National Institutes of Health Medicine Plus. An Athlete’s Nightmare: Tearing the ACL. Accessed August 7, 2013.