Kids and sports injuries

March 18, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Are your kids in danger of injuries because sports have become too competitive? Robin Basquet, children's physical therapist and Mary Pols, writer for Diablo magazine, share their advice.

To read the entire article by Mary Pols on "Kids and Sports Injuries," pick up a copy of the March 2009 edition of Diablo Magazine or visit

What can kids do to keep from getting hurt while playing sports?

Here are five tips from Robin Bousquet, a senior physical therapist at the Sports Medicine Center for Young Athletes in Walnut Creek:

1. Prepare for your sport. Don't expect the first days of practice to get you in shape; you need to be in shape for the first day of practice. That means cardiovascular, strength, endurance, and flexibility training.

2. Know proper techniques. Whether it is landing a back handspring or changing directions during a soccer game, learn the technique that fits your sport.

3. Take a break. Make sure you have rest intervals, which decrease injuries and prevent heat illness. The length depends on the sport: Longer breaks are needed for high-intensity sports or workouts.

4. You are what you eat (and drink). Follow the best practices for nutrition and hydration to decrease fatigue, which can lead to injuries.

5. Dress smart and wear the right gear. The appropriate equipment, such as good shoes and helmets, will help protect you from injuries.