Tag Archives: physical therapist

National Youth Sports Safety Month

National Youth Sports Safety Month

It’s National Youth Sports Safety Month, and it’s the perfect time to make sure you’re ready to enroll your little ones in summer sports.

Before your kids play organized sports, make sure they have a physical exam with their doctor that clears them to play sports safely.

Get Ready for Summer Sports

 

Your children should always have a water bottle at practice and games, especially during the summer heat. Help them stay hydrated before, during, and after play.

Kids and Hydration During Sports

 

Stretching before exercise and sports can help release muscle tension and prevent injuries like sprains and muscle tears. Make sure your athlete gets to warm up before playing.

Kids and Stretching Before Exercise

 

Rest is important on your growing kids’ bodies. It’s recommended that kids take at least 1 day a week off from a particular sport. 

A coach on the team should be certified in first aid and CPR, understand concussions, and help players avoid overuse injuries. Kids should also feel safe with their coaches, not just motivated.

Coaches Keeping Your Kids Safe

 

If you’re a parent, consider hosting an event that spotlights safety by inviting a trainer, physical therapist or other health professional to speak with players, parents, and coaches about safety.

Host a Health Sporting Event

 

You can always look to your sport’s governing body or even local sporting goods stores for health and safety guidelines and resources. If you hold gear swaps, make sure you know which equipment is safe to reuse.

League Health and Safety Guidelines
The Right Kind of Falling in the Winter

Long View: Don’t Let Falling Lead You Down a Slippery Slope

Our central Illinois weather definitely challenged us this winter. Slippery conditions are my least favorite. I took a tumble in a local grocery store parking lot and “fortunately” there were plenty of spectators to help me up. I am guessing it was on camera, too.

For some of our older friends and family members, the potential for falling is not based on the weather, but a year-round concern. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Every 15 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall; every 29 minutes, an older adult dies following a fall.”

Sobering statistics, to say the least.

This year, Health Alliance Medicare, with Catholic Charities of Decatur, St. Mary’s Hospital, and the East Central Illinois Area Agency on Aging (ECIAAA), is supporting a program called A Matter of Balance. This evidence-based program helps people learn to avoid falls and teaches them how to increase strength and enhance balance.

Mike O’Donnell, ECIAAA executive director, reviewed the training materials and told me, “Older adults at risk of falling often fear injury, a broken hip and having to be in a nursing home. This program encourages us to reduce the risk of falling by using sensible safeguards. We can all choose not to allow fear of falling to take over our lives by using good judgment and common sense. The fear of falling can often lead to isolation and feeling out of touch.”

Specially trained volunteer coaches lead the eight, 2-hour classes that make up the program. The classes involve group discussion, problem solving, skill building, video tapes, and exercise training. A physical therapist attends one of the classes to answer questions and discuss safety issues.

Now that I think about it, this kind of training wouldn’t hurt any of us. As usual, prevention is the best course.

The program is open to anyone, whether you’d like to learn for yourself or to better help others.

If this seems like a good idea, please contact Nicole Kirlin at Catholic Charities of Decatur at 217-428-0013, or by email at Kirlin_dec@cc.dio.org. She would be happy to talk with you and let you know if A Matter of Balance is available in your area.

I had every intention of signing up myself. I guess it must have slipped my mind. I won’t make that mistake again!

 

Patrick Harness is a community liaison with a long history of experience in health insurance. If you ask him to pick a color, he always chooses orange, and he is known for his inability to parallel park.