Sports medicine expert discusses pre-season injury prevention

August 7, 2012

Topic: Injury prevention

Iowa football players will test new concussion devices

As the new school year approaches, many youth athletes are preparing to start new athletic seasons for sports like football. During this pre-season, it is important for players, parents and coaches to be mindful of injury prevention when it comes to mishaps such as heat exhaustion and concussion.

"Many coaches also use this time to 'toughen up' the players or to weed out those who are not suited for the sport. For most young athletes, this approach is safe and effective, but there is a risk of injury or, more rarely, collapse or death with intense training," Brian Parr, Ph.D., an associate professor in the department of exercise and sports science at University of South Carolina, Aiken, wrote in a health column for the Aiken Standard.

Every year, more than 9,000 high school athletes in the U.S. miss playing time because of heat-related illnesses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most of these mishaps occur during the football pre-season in August. Proper hydration and holding conditioning sessions in the morning and evening time may help prevent their occurrence.

Meanwhile, recognizing the symptoms of a concussion and keeping injured athletes from practice and competition may prevent complications associated with traumatic brain injuries.

Parents who take their children to the doctor before the start of the season can learn more about the importance of physical fitness and injury prevention.

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