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Make sports safety your goal

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Whether your young athlete gets a kick out of karate or soccer, protecting your active family from sports-related injuries and ailments is no game. When it comes to prevention, a good defense is always the best offense. Here are some guidelines:

* Prevent heat-related emergencies by keeping athletes well hydrated before practice and competition. Encourage them to take frequent water breaks and to wear net-type or lightweight, light-colored clothing.

* Greatly reduce the risk of injury by ensuring that each workout begins with at least 10 minutes of warm-up and ends with at least 10 minutes of cool-down activities.

* Discourage an injured athlete from returning to play simply because pain is minimal — absence of pain may not mean the injury is not serious. For injuries causing pain, swelling or redness, do not instruct the athlete to “walk it off.” Movement may aggravate the injury.

*Help prevent “staph” bacteria, including the potentially fatal MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), by reminding your athlete to:

– Never share towels or personal sports gear such as helmets, mitts or shin guards.

– Put a towel down on benches or exercise machines before using them.

-Wash sports clothing after each use.

To learn how to prevent injuries and how to respond to emergencies, attend a Sports Safety Training or First Aid/CPR/ AED program offered by the Red Cross by visiting redcross.org/take-a-class.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit okc.redcross.org or join our blog at redcrossoklahoma.blogspot.com.

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Categories: Guthrie Athletics
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