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Back-to-School Parents Earn an A+ in Safety: Backpacks, Cheerleading, Football
Date:8/4/2009

info.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00187" target="_new">soccer and gymnastics. The AAOS recommends daily exercise to build strong bones and suggests school sports as one way to get that needed activity.

"Sports can be a great way for young people to get the exercise they need, while also developing social skills and having fun," says Marc Rankin, MD, orthopaedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine and spokesperson for the Academy. "Because children's bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons are still growing, they are more susceptible to injury than adults. Parents and coaches should always be on alert to ensure that kid's sports involvement does not do more harm than good."

In 2008, the CPSC reported the following statistics on injuries to children under 18:

  • Football is the leading cause of injury, sending 1,024,022 kids to doctor's offices, emergency rooms and hospitals.
  • Soccer is next on the list, with 368, 726 injuries for that same age group.
  • Cheerleading was the cause of 75,307 injuries.
  • And, gymnastics injuries numbered 67,542.

Better Your Child's Odds

Knowing these risks, AAOS offers back-to-school safety tips:

  • Have your child always warm up and stretch before exercising, particularly when the weather is cold. Athletes should warm up with some light exercise for at least 3 to 5 minutes, then slowly and gently stretch the muscles to be exercised, holding each stretch for at least 30 seconds.
  • Make sure a coach with the appropriate training heads your child's program.
  • It is important for your child to stay active during the summer, so that s/he is prepared to begin participating in fall sports.
  • Have kids take frequent water breaks to prevent dehydrati
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SOURCE American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
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