It’s National Youth Sports Week! Every year, National Youth Sports Week celebrates P.L.A.Y.S. – Physical activity, Living healthy, Access, Youth development, Safety. During this week, thousands of coaches, players, athletic and recreation directors, association members, sponsors, parents and more help to raise awareness and promote healthy lifestyles for all children and their families through sports.
From private organizations and local sports teams to government agencies and everything in between, there are all kinds of events being held this week to recognize youth sports. Washington DC is even in on the action. The National Council of Youth Sports (NCYS) Youth Sports Day on Capitol Hill includes the introduction of the NCYS’ own legislative bill. This bill, centered around coaching education, parenting education, reducing injuries and safety in youth sports is the first of its kind. The NCYS proudly advocates safe environments and healthy lifestyles to build stronger communities and enhance youth sports.
One area that Youth Sports Week focuses on is reducing sports injuries. As many as 1.35 million children a year experience a serious sports injury and that number has been on the rise in recent years. While scrapes and bruises are a natural part of any sport, more serious injuries are sending kids to the ER. Sprains, fractures and concussions top the list of sports-related ER visits. Safe Kids Worldwide, an advocacy group, estimates that these ER visits cost more than $935 million each year. Kate Carr, President and CEO of Safe Kids says, “Far too many kids are arriving in emergency rooms for injuries that are predictable and preventable.” These statistics do not even include injuries due to overuse such as injuries to tendons, bones and joints so the actual number of sports injuries could really be much higher still.
But through initiatives like Youth Sports Week, coaches, players and parents are getting information that reinforces the precautions that can help remove some of the risk of injury. Letting the body rest, adding preventive and strengthening exercises, and following proper technique are among injury prevention strategies recommended. In addition, encouraging athletes to speak up about injuries, supporting coaches in injury-prevention decisions, and better educating parents and young athletes about sports safety are all important to the awareness and action needed around sports injuries.
If you or someone you love has experienced a sports injury such as a concussion, careful evaluation is the first step to recovery. We are here to help. If you would like more information about how Chiropractic Neurology can help you, please contact the team at the Georgia Chiropractic Neurology Center today.