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Winter Sports Safety Checklist

  
  
  
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If your son or daughter is a winter athlete than you know firsthand how different it is to play sports in the winter compared to the summer. Being a winter athlete means dealing with a whole different set of circumstances so you need to follow a different set of rules to stay safe!

3 Ways Parents Can Protect Their Youth Athletes

  
  
  
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There is always a risk of injury when you're playing youth sports. And unless you're just going to cover your kid in bubble wrap for the rest of their lives, there is always the chance that something could go wrong and they'll get hurt. But parents can and do make a difference when it comes to keeping their kids safe and preventing most injuries. All it requires is a little extra attention.  

Is Your Youth Athlete Playing In Pain?

  
  
  
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A 2014 study from from the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine found that "Estimates of the proportion of all sports injuries that are due to overuse range from 45.9% to 54%." This means that nearly 1/2 of all sports injuries are due to overuse! If you think it's odd that a 10 year old could ever possibly overuse their throwing arm, the study hypothesized that these overuse injuries are due to the increasing pressure for young athletes to begin specializing at an earlier and earlier age. Many parents and coaches believe that early specialization is the key to putting a child on the path to an athletic scholarship, an Olympic team or the world of professional sports.

3 Winter Sports Safety Tips

  
  
  
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Just because it's cold outside (and depending on what state you call home, buried under 10 inches of snow), that doesn't means youth sports has to stop! There are plenty of winter sports, both indoor and outdoor, for your son/daughter to play this season if they want to stay active. And if they are on a highly competitive team their coach might be running mandatory winter conditioning camps. But getting and staying active when it's cold outside means following a few winter sports safety rules and tips.

Playing Through an Injury - Is It Worth It?

  
  
  
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Even with every possible safety measure in place kids are going to get hurt when playing youth sports. They'll skin their knees and elbows, they'll jam fingers, stub toes, and crash into each other. Part of playing sports means accepting some minimal level of risk. Yes, more serious accidents can and will happen, especially as the level of competition increases, so hopefully the coach is certified in CPR and first aid so they know what to do in the case of an emergency (every second counts when someone is seriously ill or injured), but most minor scrapes and bruises aren't serious enough to keep a kid off the field for more than a few minutes.

The Most Dangerous Sports

  
  
  
Injury Soccer

Even with the best intentions and safety measures in place, accidents can and do happen in youth sports. Kids are going to skin their knees, jam their fingers, sprain their ankles, and so forth. Approximately 8,000 children are treated in emergency rooms each day for sports-related injuries.  Fortunately, most of these injuries are relatively minor and with a few days rest your child is right back in the game. We can't wrap our kids in plastic bubbles every time they walk onto the field, but at the same time it's important to be aware of what could happen so that in the event of an emergency we know how to react.

The Risk of ACL Injury Among Female Athletes

  
  
  
The Risk of ACL Injury Among Female Athletes

Approximately 80% of ACL tears occur without any physical contact with another player. Instead, the tear happens when a player lands from a jump, decelerating suddenly, or quickly changing direction. Since these actions are so common in soccer and basketball, it's those players that are the most at-risk. And female athletes have the greatest risk of ACL injuries, with rates 4 to 6 times as high as for their male counterparts in the same sports. While ACL injuries are uncommon among younger players, the rate starts to pick up once girls turn 12.

Are There Any Benefits to Early Specialization in Youth Sports?

  
  
  

Some parents/coaches believe that early specialization is the best (if not only) way to ensure that their child turns their love of sports into a college scholarship or even a career. Others argue that early specialization is actually ruining youth sports because it pushes young players too hard, too fast, and too soon. Which side of the argument are you on?

New York State Public High School Athletic Association Makes Cheerleading a "Real" Sport

  
  
  

I'll admit it--I'm a cheer mom. My daughter has been on a competitive cheering for several years and I never understood why other sports parents would argue that cheerleading isn't a "real" sport. Competitive cheerleading is so much more than just standing on the sidelines of a football field and waving some pompoms; it's more like gymnastics than anything and you don't hear anyone saying that gymnasts aren't "real" athletes! Still don't think cheerleading is a sport? Take a look and this video and tell me these girls aren't serious athletes!

Injury Rates Among Youth Athletes

  
  
  
Injury Rates Among Youth Athletes

Approximately 8,000 children are treated in emergency rooms each day for sports-related injuries. According to USAToday.com, sprains and strains, fractures, contusions, abrasions and concussions top the list of sports-related ER diagnoses for kids ages 6 to 19. Interestingly, most of these sports-related injuries (62% in fact) happen during practices, not games. Some argue that we as a culture are simply better are reporting sports-injuries, as opposed to just telling kids to "play through it" and that's why injury rates seem to have gone up. Others argue that early specialization and increased competitiveness are pushing players too hard to fast, meaning more injuries among younger players.

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