It’s back-to-school season, which means the resumption of high school sports. What can parents do to reduce the risk of their children being injured?

All sports carry the risk of injury. Fortunately, most injuries are preventable—especially those due to overuse or overtraining.

 *   Take a Break: It’s important to build-in rest periods between training, practice and competitions. A useful rule-of-thumb is that children under the age of 16 should not practice more hours per week at a given sport than their age in years.

 *   Self-care: It’s important for athletes to eat a healthy diet and consume enough calories. Getting enough rest and liquids are equally vital.

 *   Keep it Fun: Training should be fun and invigorating. If it feels monotonous or painful, that can be a sign that you’re pushing too hard.

 *   Play Safe: Good sportsmanship and adherence to game rules can reduce the risk for injury.

 *   Manageable Workload: With training, it’s important to use proper technique and to keep weekly workload increases under 15 percent.

 *   Warm-up & Cool Down: It’s important to do dynamic warm-ups before training to pre-stretch and activate muscles without overstretching them, and to do cool downs afterward.
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