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Game Changers for Parents to Keep Children from Suffering Sports Injuries

1We want our children to be healthy, active and to learn teamwork and gain physical abilities through participating in sports programs. The issue of head injuries in football has gained attention in recent years, with reports about permanent brain injuries to NFL players who have suffered many concussions during their years on the field. As a parent, there is much you can do to help your children stay as safe as possible and still gain the benefits of playing sports.


All Children’s Sports Carry Risk of Injury

2All children’s sports carry some risk of injury, but contact sports are far more likely to injure a child. If your child plays contact sports such as football or rugby, it is imperative that you inform yourself before enrolling your child. Talk with the coach about your concerns and find out what safety measures are in place for young people playing football or another heavy contact sport. It is important that there is warm-up period prior to play, such as stretching to increase flexibility and to help avoid an injury to muscles or tendons. It also has been found to be important that young players take at least two months rest between seasons to allow muscles to rebuild.

Hydration is critical in all seasons, but especially in spring and summer. Your child should be aware that he or she should consume fluids, preferably water, before practice or games, during games and after games. This can assist in avoiding injuries such as heat stroke and other serious conditions.

Common Sports Injuries for Children: Treat and Release or Hospitalization

This chart gives an overview of the most common injuries resulting in an ER visit, types of injuries, sex of child, and whether the injury required hospitalization from 25 states that participated in the study:


Type of InjurySuperficialinjury, ContusionSprains, StrainsArm FractureOpen Wounds, Head, Neck, TrunkOthers (Heat Stroke, Head Injuries, Low Blood Oxygen, etc.)
Number ER Visits51,70043,70042,00022,30019,500
Percent Released99.8%99.9%98.8%99.9%99.5%


Type of InjurySuperficial Injury, ContusionSprains, StrainsArm FractureOpen Wounds to Head, Neck, TrunkOthers (Heat Stroke, Head Injuries, Low Blood Oxygen, etc.)
Number ER Visits20,00019,00010,9004,3006,900

Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Children should be involved in sports programs that are organized and focused on protecting the health and safety of the participants. If you see unsafe play, report it to the organizers. Be an active participant.

Ensure that the sports program in which you enroll your child has personnel who are trained in first aid and in CPR, and that the program has emergency plans and protocols in place. Fast action can save a child’s life if a serious injury occurs.

Types of Sports: What Parents Can Do To Keep Children Safe


Sprains, strains, bruising and broken bones, scrapes, dislocations, broken teeth, and knee injuries are common in this sport. Safety equipment that can protect your child include:

  • Eye Protection
  • Elbow and Knee Pads
  • Mouth Guard
  • Athletic Supporters (Males)
  • Proper Shoes
  • Sunscreen, Hat for outdoor sports

Track & Field:

Sprains, strains and falls are common. Equipment that can protect your child:

  • Proper Shoes
  • Athletic Supporters (Males)
  • Sunscreen
  • Water


Ensure your child has properly fitted protective gear. Every child involved in football should have these items:

  • Pads (neck, shoulder, elbow, chest, knees and shin)
  • Helmet
  • Face Guard
  • Protective Cup
  • Eye Protection
  • Water
  • Sunscreen

Baseball, Softball

Most common injuries include strains, fractures (sliding, hit by ball), and sunburn. Check to see if the bases are “breakaway” rather than fixed – these are safer. Protect your child with this gear:

  • Batting Helmet
  • Shin Guards
  • Elbow Guards
  • Athletic Supporter (Males)
  • Mouth Guard
  • Sunscreen
  • Cleats
  • Hat


Common injuries to children playing soccer include cuts, bruises, scrapes, fractures, headaches and sunburn. Safety equipment for soccer should include:

  • Shin Guards
  • Athletic Supporter (Males)
  • Cleats
  • Sunscreen
  • Water


The most common injuries in gymnastics are soft tissue sprains and strains. Equipment should include:

  • Safety Harness
  • Joint Supports (Wraps)
  • Water
  • Athletic Supporters (Males)

3Having your child seriously injured while playing sports is one of the most frightening situations a parent can experience. At Hardison & Cochran, Attorneys at Law in Raleigh, NC, we pursue compensation on behalf of young persons who have been seriously injured or died while involved in a sporting activity. Call today for a free case review. Find out how we work. We are a different kind of law firm with the highest degree of dedication and care provided to all of our clients. Call now.


American Academy of Pediatrics:

Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project: //

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: //

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