WASHINGTON — Kids are headed back to school and back to the playing field.
An estimated 38 million American children participate in sports each year, according to the National Institutes of Health. And while all this physical activity is welcome, the downside is there are more than 2.6 million visits to emergency rooms each year.
“There is no way to prevent every injury from happening,” said Dr. Andrew Cosgarea, chief of sports medicine in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Johns Hopkins.
Cosgarea said the best way to keep your kid from turning into an injury statistic is to make sure he or she is really prepared to compete. That means having the proper equipment and the patience to ease gradually into a training program.
“It’s a common mistake to go out at the very beginning of your training and do too much the first time,” Cosgarea said, adding it is important to gradually increase the frequency, the duration, and the intensity.