CHOC Children's
SAFETY/INJURY PREVENT

Sports Safety

Participating in sports is great for children both physically and psychologically. Sports can increase a child's physical coordination, fitness, and self-esteem. In addition, sports can teach children about teamwork and self-discipline.

However, because children's bodies are still growing and their coordination is still developing, children are more susceptible to sports injuries. Approximately 3.5 million children ages 14 and under are treated for sports-related injuries each year. Half of all of those injuries can be prevented with proper use of safety gear, changes to the playing environment, and the establishment of sports rules that help prevent injuries.

Most childhood sports injuries occur due to the following factors:

  • lack of education and awareness about safety precautions and potential injury
  • inappropriate or lack of equipment
  • improperly conditioned children

The following are safety precautions recommended to prevent sports injuries in children:

  • Children should wear appropriate safety gear and equipment.
  • The playing environment should be safe.
  • The sport should be properly practiced with children of similar size, skill level, and physical and emotional maturity.
  • Children should be fit and mentally prepared.
  • Children practicing a sport should be supervised by an adult who enforces the safety rules.
  • Children should stay hydrated during and after sports.

There are many different sports-related injuries that require clinical care by a physician or other healthcare professional. Listed in the directory below are some, for which we have provided a brief overview.

If you cannot find the information in which you are interested, please visit the Safety and Injury Prevention Online Resources page in this Web site for an Internet/World Wide Web address that may contain additional information on that topic.

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It is important to remember the health information found on this website is for reference only not intended to replace the advice and guidance of your healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.

© Children's Hospital of Orange County