Stay safe while enjoying sports this summer

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happy-boy-play-in-soccer-200x300Sports are a healthy outlet for children and adults alike. They’re fun. They make us feel good. That’s why growing numbers of people of all ages participate in at least one sport.

But sports participation, even non-contact sports, always carries a risk of suffering injuries. Here are some great tips for you and your family to stay safe while enjoying sports this spring and summer:

Wear protective gear: Players should dress with the appropriate protective gear for their sport at all times. This can include padding, helmets, mouthpieces, face guards, eyewear and protective cups. Many sports, such as baseball, have their own safety risks. Make sure you know what the risks are and what safety equipment you need.

Make sure to stretch: Encourage everyone in your family to stretch their muscles before and after games and practices. This helps reduce cramping and tightness in your muscles and joints and could prevent some types of injuries.

Drink lots of water: Drink plenty of fluids before, during and after athletic competition to avoid heat-induced injuries. Avoid practicing in extreme hot/humid weather whenever possible and always wear light clothing. And don’t forget to wear sunscreen!

Know when to stop: If you feel any type of pain from tightness to soreness, stop competing and rest. Pushing through pain can turn a minor injury into a major one.

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