NORFOLK - Knowing your athletes before the season begins is very important. It provides the coach and Athletic Trainer an opportunity to assess risk factors, provide education to athletes, administer baseline testing, and establish emergency procedure protocols.

According to the National Athletic Trainers' Association, more than half of all sports injuries occur at practice.

Mitch Callis, CHKD athletic trainer and Sports Medicine Community Liaison, has more on injuries and avoiding them on any field of dreams.

What is happening on the field and on the court

-More than 3.5 million children under the age of 14 receive medical treatment for sports related injuries each year.
-Youth sports injuries account for 21 percent of all traumatic brain injuries.
-20 percent of children 8 -12 and 45 percent of those 13-14 will have arm pain in a single baseball season.
-High school athletes account for an estimated 2 million injuries each year.

Common causes for injuries

-Overuse injury, which occurs over time from repeated motion, is responsible for nearly half of all sports injuries to middle and high school students.
-Insufficient rest after an injury and poor training/conditioning contribute to over use.
-Most injuries occur during practice rather than during the games.
-Most parents are unaware that they should have their children take the same precautions during practice as they would during a game to prevent injuries.


It's important for the student athlete, coaches and parents to understand that preparation for sports or exercise should involve a variety of activities, including an aerobic warm-up, strengthening, balance exercises and motions that combine power and speed like jumping and hopping.

-Strength training may also help prevent injuries by increasing bone density, improving motor skills and conditioning muscles and joints for the rigors of practice and games.

-Don't play when you're injured (or modify your activities). Be honest with parents and coaches if you've been hurt. Continuing to engage in an activity while injured can sideline you for a long time.

CHKD's Sports Medicine Program continues its partnership with Chesapeake middle and high schools and Va. Beach middle schools and will be providing certified athletic trainers. Certified athletic trainers are on the sidelines at practices and games.

For more information, call: 668-PLAY

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