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Safety tips for children

By Staff
Special to the Advance
Each year, more than 775,000 children are treated in emergency rooms across the U.S. for sports-related injuries.
The majority of these injuries are from falls, collisions with other players, being struck by an object or overexertion during sports activities. Injuries can be especially prevalent throughout the spring months, when baseball, soccer and lacrosse seasons are in full swing.
Children are at greater risk than adults from sports and recreational injuries since they are unable to assess the risks involved and have less coordination, slower reaction times and less accuracy.
According to Dr. Drew Davis, a pediatric rehabilitation specialist at Children's Hospital, and Drew Ferguson, director of sports medicine at Children's Hospital, there are a number of steps parents can take to prevent their child from sustaining a sports-related injury this spring:
Parents and coaches should teach effective stretching and warm-up techniques in order to avoid muscle strain or injury.
If a child has been hit in the head during a sporting activity, and is showing symptoms of a possible concussion, he should be seen and evaluated by a physician immediately.
"If children are showing signs of an alteration in mental status such as difficulty in finding words, dizziness, nausea or general weakness after being struck in the head, it is very important to have them checked out by a doctor," Davis said. "A concussion is a form of a brain injury, and if left untreated can be dangerous."
High school baseball or soccer athletes should have a trained professional on hand during each sporting event.
"It is good to have a licensed, certified athletic trainer at games to recognize signs and symptoms of a more serious injury and to prevent further damage," Ferguson said.
For more information on this and other children's health and safety issues, please call Children's Connection Line at 1.800.504.9768 or visit our web site at www.helpyourchild.com