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NORFOLK-If your children are going to sports camps or joining community sports programs, you can help reduce their chances of getting injured.

CHKD Sports Medicine Physical Therapist Dr. Tina Dolenti says it's important for parents to know how to help because many coaches don't have a lot of training on preventing sports injury.

Proper warms up and stretching can protect muscles, tendons and ligaments. Learn the specific stretches and warm ups for specific sports and ages. Aerobic exercises should precede practice. Some warmups are different depending on whether it's your son or daughter getting physical.

In the summer heat, it's important for your child to stay hydrated-before, during and after practice. Watch out for energy drinks, which can have lots of caffeine. That can be dangerous and the drinks don't provide adequate hydration. If your child appears dizzy or disoriented during play, get him or her off the field or court and get medical attention.

In contact sports, collisions can lead to concussions. Watch for hits to the head. Any child with even a minor concussion must be pulled from the game. A second concussion can result in disability or even death.

CHKD and Kohl's are sponsoring a free coach's clinic on July 14 at Grassfield High School in Va. Beach from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Registration is required. For more information, call 668-7402 or register on the CHKD Website.

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