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Back To School Safety Prevention Tips

Whenever kids return to school, it is imperative that families get their house in order as it relates to recreational and organized sports activities. Over 12 million student athletes between ages 5 and 22 will sustain a sports-related injury this year. Students will lose twenty million school days as a result of an injury related either to sports or recreational activities.

Safety Checklist

I believe that the vast majority of these injuries are completely preventable. In my book, The Awakening of a Surgeon, I outline a prevention checklist that each and every parent should follow:

  1. A pre-participation physical examination for every student athlete.

  2. Conditioning at an age appropriate level.

  3. Utilizing equipment and apparel that has been found by through independent testing to be effective at preventing and reducing the risk of injury.

  4. A thorough evaluation of playing fields, as well as facilities, to make sure they are well lit, free of holes, free of broken glass, and other hazardous debris.

  5. Making sure the coaches are certified in first aid and have received training appropriate for the age of the athletes they are coaching.

  6. Ensuring that emergency first aid equipment, including automatic external defibrillators, is accessible at each field or gymnasium; and

  7. Making sure that athletes warm up before and cool down after participating in sports.


Parent Involvement Is Key

If all parents, coaches and athletes learned and followed these ten steps, I believe the number of heat-related deaths of student-athletes could be reduced to zero. But it will only happen if parents become much more actively involved by attending their child's practices and games to ensure that they don't become tragic statistics like the players in Indiana, Florida, and Minnesota.

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