Brandon, Florida (September 25, 2013) – There is no disagreement of the mental, physical and social benefits of kids participating in team and individual sports. Sports keep children active reducing their risk of childhood obesity and improving their overall health, as well as introducing them to friends with common interests and creating a sense of teamwork. As parents, coaches and healthcare providers, we know the benefits but are also concerned about their safety in these activities.
However, according to Safe Kids Worldwide, children younger than 15 account for 40% of all sports, recreational and exercise-related emergency department visits and, according to the Center for Disease Control, 2.6 million children each year, ages 19 and under, receive medical treatment for sports and recreation injuries.
“Parents and coaches can help reduce preventable injuries so kids can continue performing the activities they love,” says Jennifer Waxler, director of emergency medicine, Brandon Regional Emergency Center. “Parents and coaches can also watch for symptoms of possibly more serious but less obvious conditions.” Brandon Regional Hospital offers the following safety tips for all who participate in organized sports:
· Prepare children for the demands of the sport they are playing
o Children should get a physical exam by a qualified medical professional helping to rule out any medical conditions
· Warm up and stretch before games and practices
o Make sure time is set aside before any games or practices for proper warm ups, including stretching and light jogging
· It is important to remind them to keep hydrated
o Encourage your athletes to drink water 30 minutes before the activity begins and every 15-20 minutes during activity
o Learn the signs of dehydration and seek appropriate medical attention when dehydration is suspected
· Always wear the appropriate sports gear
o Always have children fitted for the proper sports gear
o If outside activity, don’t forget the sunscreen
· Know the signs and symptoms of concussion
o Symptoms include: Headache or a feeling of pressure in the head; temporary loss of consciousness; confusion or feeling as if in a fog; amnesia surrounding the traumatic event; dizziness or “seeing stars”; ringing in the ears; nausea or vomiting; slurred speech; or fatigue.
o A good rule of thumb is to allow the child to sit out for a while, but if a concussion is suspected seek the appropriate medical care.
· Know the signs and symptoms of heat stroke
o Heatstroke is caused by prolonged exposure to high temperatures or by doing physical activity in hot weather.
o High humidity, certain health problems and some medications increase your risk of heatstroke.
o When the body overheats, a young person may develop heat cramps. If they don’t cool down, the symptoms may progress to heavy sweating, nausea, lightheadedness and feeling faint.
o Heatstroke occurs if your body temperature continues to rise. At this point, emergency treatment is needed. In a period of hours, untreated heatstroke can cause damage to your brain, heart, kidneys and muscles. These injuries get worse the longer treatment is delayed, increasing your risk of serious complications or death.
· Our sports heroes need proper rest
o To help avoid overuse injury, rest all players during practices and games.
o Encourage players to communicate any pain, injury or illness they may have during or after any practices or games.
o Kids should have at least one or two days off from any particular sport each week.
· Be a Prepared Coach
o Coaches should establish safety guidelines that athletes and parents can follow during every practice and game, such as creating hydration breaks, encouraging players to sit out if injured, resting if not feeling well and facilitating a proper warm-up. Coaches may also consider getting certified in first aid and CPR and have a stocked first aid kit handy at all practices and games.
About Brandon Regional Hospital
Brandon Regional Hospital is a proud member of the nation’s leading provider of healthcare services. BRH is a 398-acute care facility which includes a 25-bed Behavioral Health Center. BRH holds the following certifications:
· The first hospital in Hillsborough County to receive accreditation as a Chest Pain Center with PCI from The Society of Chest Pain Centers.
· The three star award for excellence in cardiac surgery – the highest award given by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.
· Certification as a Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission.
· Designated by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida as a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery and Orthopedics.
· The Brandon Regional Hospital Echocardiography Lab has been awarded a three-year term of accreditation in the area of adult transthoracic by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories (ICAEL).
In addition, BRH has enhanced its services this year with the addition of:
· The Women’s Center at Brandon Regional Hospital includes The Baby Suites, Level III NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit), and in-patient rooms for gynecology and antepartum patients.
· The Behavioral Health Center a 25 bed unit which emphasizes the importance of instilling hope with group and individual psychotherapy, medication assessment, psycho-educational group, family support and education groups, and interventions designed to guide the mind, body, and spirit to recovery.
· The Neuroscience Center and Heart & Vascular Center offer the latest diagnoses and treatment options in neurological, spine and cardiac conditions.
Brandon Regional Hospital initiated a program to only perform elective deliveries at 39 weeks gestation unless medically indicated. Although this initiative is becoming wide-spread throughout the nation, Brandon Regional Hospital and HCA implemented this initiative before it became a national movement.
Brandon Regional Hospital is located at 119 Oakfield Drive, Brandon, Florida 33511. For more information contact Patricia Montgomery, 813-571-5105 or go to BrandonRegionalHospital.com.