More than half of children in the U.S. ages 6 to 17 participate in sports. With participation also comes the painful reality of injuries that happen during gameplay.
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Reducing the risk of injury starts with an annual physical to make sure children can participate. When it's time to play, warm up muscles by stretching, and use protective equipment, when appropriate.
"It's important to try out your equipment before you get into game-time situations to make sure it works properly, so that it's actually protecting you when you're going out there to perform the sport," says Dr. Troyer.
"They need time to rest because they've put too much stress on the area. And without that, they just don't heal," says Dr. Troyer.
If children are injured playing a sport, keep them out of competition until they can be evaluated.
"The worst thing that you can do is get up and try to play through these things and make the injury worse," says Dr. Troyer.