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Preventing Children's Injuries From Sports and Other Activities

Table of Contents


Being active is an important part of growing up healthy. But active kids can get hurt, especially when they don't know some basics about safety. As a parent, you can't protect your child from every injury. But you can help your child keep safety in mind.

Getting a sports physical

A sports physical can tell you if your child has any health problems before he or she starts playing a sport. The doctor can check for illness or any problems with your child's lungs, heart, vision, hearing, strength, or movement. The doctor will tell you how your child can manage the problem and still be active.

If you think that your child needs strengthening or conditioning to avoid injury, talk to your doctor. Ask the doctor for exercises or to recommend a physical therapist.

Helping your child avoid sports injuries

Most sport-related injuries are from impact, overuse, or poor body mechanics. But there are things you can do to reduce your active child's risk of injury.

Preventing overuse injuries

Any repeated movement or impact can cause an overuse injury. These injuries can cause pain or soreness, inflammation, and even stress fracture of a bone. After an overuse injury has started, it can take weeks to heal. Children and teens are most at risk when their bones are still growing.

Common overuse injuries include carpal tunnel syndrome of the wrist, rotator cuff injury of the shoulder, tennis elbow, Osgood-Schlatter disease of the knee, and plantar fasciitis of the foot.

The following can help your child avoid these injuries.

Avoiding dehydration and heat exhaustion

When your child is active and not drinking enough fluids, dehydration is a risk. The muscles get tired quickly. Your child may have leg cramps while walking or running. Playing hard and sweating without drinking fluids can cause dehydration and heat exhaustion.

To prevent this, teach your child these tips.



  1. Brenner JS, AAP Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness (2016). Sports specialization and intensive training in young athletes. Pediatrics, 138(3): e20162148. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2016-2148. Accessed August 31, 2016.

Credits for Preventing Children's Injuries From Sports and Other Activities

Current as of: June 5, 2023

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