The Tooele County Health Department wants to remind everyone to play it safe this spring.
The TCHD released a list of eight tips to keep in mind before participating in organized sports that will hopefully help keep everyone in the county healthy and safe.
The first tip was to prepare children for the demands of playing sports.
According to the press release, “Before playing organized sports, make sure your child receives a pre-participation physical exam by a doctor.”
Receiving a physical before a sports season can aid in ruling out medical conditions that a child may have or anything that could potentially put an athlete at risk.
“Just in case of emergency, share your contact information with your athlete’s coaches,” according to the release. “If your athlete has any history of asthma or other medical conditions that require special attention, meet with the coach before the first practice.”
Stretching before games and practices can help prevent injury, and according to the release, it shouldn’t be neglected.
It “can release muscle tension and help prevent sports-related injuries, such as muscle tears or sprains. Make sure there is time set aside before every practice and game for athletes to warm up properly.”
The third item from the TCHD was to stay hydrated. Learn the signs and symptoms of dehydration and other forms of heat illness.
“Encourage children to stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water before, during and after play,” according to the release. “Encourage your athletes to drink fluids 30 minutes before the activity begins and every 15 to 20 minutes during activity. If you’re a coach, mandatory fluid breaks during practice and games are a great idea. Don’t wait for your athletes to tell you they’re thirsty.”
No. 4 on the list was to wear the appropriate equipment and to make sure that gear fits your child well.
According to the release, “Having kids wear the appropriate and properly-fitted sports gear during practice and games can help avoid minor and serious injuries.”
The TCHD reminds everyone to not take chances with the brain and to learn the signs and symptoms of a concussion.
“A player with a suspected concussion must be immediately sidelined until evaluated and released by a medical profession,” according to the release. “The important thing is to protect players who have had a concussion from getting another one. A good rule of thumb: When in doubt, sit them out.”
And don’t underrate the necessity of rest for all athletes.
“To help avoid overuse injury, rest all players during practices and games,” according to the release. “Encourage players to communicate any pain, injury or illness they may have during or after any practices or games. Kids should have at least one or two days off from any particular sport each week.”
Along with safety guidelines released by the Health Department, coaches should establish their own safety guidelines to ensure the young athletes and happy and healthy.
“It’s also a good idea for coaches to get certified in first aid and CPR and have a stocked first aid kit handy at all practices and games,” according to the release. “Coaches should consider adding to their sports skills and knowledge.”
Finally, the Health Department wants parents to be supportive and help with these guidelines.
According to the release: “Learn ways to help your child stay injury-free and healthy while playing sports. Attend a sports safety clinic. These clinics provide coaches and parents with ways to keep young athletes healthy and injury-free throughout their sporting careers.”
Amy Bate, of the Tooele County Health Department, compiled this list of guidelines and submitted the press release to the Tooele Transcript-Bulletin.