5 Cool Tips for Parents of Teen Athletes

It’s National Youth Sports Safety Month!  With many Orthopedists and sports medicine experts in Kansas City and St. Louis, Signature Medical Group’s doctors see thousands of sports medicine patients each year.  And our patients are getting younger and younger, as adolescent and teenage athletes push themselves to achieve greatness.  Here are some tips to reduce the risk of injury for your child:

  1. Your daughter or son can minimize the risk of ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injury with an easy-to-follow training program.

The program should include basic muscle strengthening, landing bio-mechanics, exercises to improve the core and stretching to better your child’s balance.

  1. Get a preseason sports physical.

A preseason or back-to-school physical is a great way to determine if your young athlete is fit to play.

  1. The preseason is just as important as the season.

Long before the first whistle, your son or daughter should begin a regimented routine of exercise and stretching.  By doing this, you lower risk for injury and are in better shape for tryouts and beyond.

  1. Know the symptoms of a concussion.

Signs and symptoms of a concussion may include:

  • Headache or a feeling of pressure in the head
  • Temporary loss of consciousness
  • Confusion or feeling as if in a fog
  • Amnesia surrounding a traumatic event
  • Dizziness or “seeing stars”
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Delayed response to questions
  • Appearing dazed
  • Fatigue

Make sure you’re on the lookout for these symptoms.  Girls soccer and boys football are the leading concussion causing sports.

5. Recognize injury and get help early!

As a parent, you may be the first to notice a change in your child, especially an injury.  If your child is throwing the ball differently or limping, you may want to get involved and make sure the coach pulls him or her out of the game.  Especially in children, it’s vital that injuries are checked out to make certain that minor issues don’t become permanent, painful injuries.

Like these tips?  Watch for 5 more, coming next week!   And if your child is preparing for—or already involved in—a sporting activity, consider making an appointment with Signature Medical Group’s sports medicine doctors in St. Louis or Kansas City.  We’ll help your child establish a healthy routine, or repair his or her nagging injury, so they can enjoy sports to the fullest.