Keep kids from getting hurt this summer - Physiotherapists share latest injury prevention strategies

    TORONTO, June 25 /CNW/ - School's out for the summer and that means it's
time to play for hundreds of thousands of Canadian children. All that extra
activity also means they may be at increased risk for injury. The Canadian
Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program say injuries are the most
significant threat to the health of Canadian children. Whether it is team
sports like baseball and soccer, or more risky activities like skateboarding
or mountain biking, the Canadian Physiotherapy Association is calling on
parents to be more proactive in preventing injuries in children.
    "Parents need to act as the coach," says Mike Yates, BSc, BScPT, a
veteran sport physiotherapist and coordinator of a teen injury prevention
program in Penticton, B.C. "They need to ensure their children have the
equipment, nutrition, and hydration to play safely. Children should wear
helmets for cycling and skateboarding, wear footwear that matches the sport
and playing surface, eat a carbohydrate based athlete's diet with minimal pop
and junk food, and drink 8 ounces of water every 20 minutes in hot
conditions", says Yates.
    Yates adds that there are many other things parents can encourage their
children to do that will help minimize the risk of injuries including:

    -   Training and conditioning (cardiovascular, muscle strength, balance)
    -   Dynamic stretching before an activity, static stretching after
    -   Practicing techniques and skills (landing a jump, cutting and
    -   Rest and recovery after activity (rehydrating, re-nourishing, stretch
        and cool down)

    Carolyn Emery, BScPT, PhD, a physiotherapist at the University of Calgary
Sport Medicine Centre has done research that shows neuromuscular training
helps reduce the risk of kids getting hurt. Emery stresses that injuries are
not just a temporary problem; having one injury increases the chances of
developing other injuries.
    "Children and adolescents are developing osteoarthritis 10-15 years after
some injuries, specifically major knee ligament and cartilage injuries," says
Emery. "Parents can help prevent this by ensuring appropriate warm-up programs
are followed. There is evidence that neuromuscular warm-up activities
including balance, technical and strengthening components will significantly
reduce the risk of lower extremity injuries in sports such as soccer and
basketball," adds Emery. "A pre-participation examination by a physiotherapist
working in sports medicine is encouraged. Such an assessment can facilitate
the identification of individual risk factors for participation in some
sports, particularly if the child/adolescent has prior history of injury."
    Parents may also want to consider getting their children involved in
sport therapy groups where health care professionals such as physiotherapists
are involved in injury prevention training programs. Inquire with local sport
groups, or at health clubs with certified fitness trainers. It is not too late
to get your child in summer shape so that they avoid injuries and foster
healthy activity habits that will follow them into adulthood.

For further information:

For further information: and spokesperson interview in English or
French: Virginia Bawlf, National Media Relations Officer, (416) 932-1888
(x222), (647) 379-4145 (cell),

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