Now that the kids are back to school, the fall sports season is about to get underway. No matter what your young athlete is into the American Red Cross wants to help protect them from sports-related injuries and ailments. The Red Cross says when it comes to prevention, a good defense is always the best offense. Here are some tips:

  • Stay Hydrated

Heat-related emergencies can be prevented by getting well hydrated before practice or a game. Encourage the young athlete to take frequent water breaks and to wear lightweight, light-colored clothing.

  • Warm-up/Cool-down

The Red Cross recommends that each workout begins with at least 10 minutes of warm-up and ends with at least 10 minutes of cool-down time.

  • Don't just 'walk it off'

Sometime injured athletes are eager to get back in the game because the pain is minimal. Just because the pain isn't there doesn't mean the injury isn't serious. And for any injury causing pain, swelling or redness, do not encourage the athlete to 'walk it off'. That may aggravate the injury.

You can learn more about injury prevention and how to respond to emergency situations by attending a Sports Safety Training or First Aid/CPR/AED program offered by the American Red Cross. Go to redcross.org/take-a-class to get details.