Docs: Moderation is key to preventing injuries in student athletes

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Even before many kids headed back to school, fall sports camps were underway.

Doctors at Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital say parents can help prevent some of the more common injuries they see this time of year in student athletes.

That includes heat-related illness, and also overuse injuries.

Doctors say overuse injuries are becoming more common, especially as kids play year-round sports.

The most common overuse injury? The elbow, from pitchers in baseball.

“It’s not just throwing athletes. Really any sport you play, if you’re doing the same thing over and over and over again, and not doing other things such as strength training and stretching, you put yourself at risk for overuse injuries,” said Dr. Brian Mullis, Chief of Orthopaedic Trauma Services at Eskenazi Health.

Mullis says he encourages children to be active, and says parents can keep that activity safe.

He suggests parents to encourage strength training and stretching for kids. He says that strength training isn’t bench pressing for kids, rather it’s push ups or sit ups, anything that can lead to good habits for kids as they get older and more competitive.

“The key is moderation. Like anything else, not to overdo it,” said Dr. Mullis. “If you’re a pitcher for baseball, it’s important you pay attention to pitch counts. It’s important you not play on multiple teams. It’s important you listen to the coach, and if you are having pain, it’s important to be evaluated right away.”

Dr. Mullis also suggests a pre-season physical, as is required for many athletes, especially if you have pain from a previous season.

He also says they like to catch things early. He suggests getting your child checked out right away if they have pain that persists, because injury at a young age could have long-term consequences.

When it comes to heat-related issues, Dr. Mullis says it’s an important reminder for anyone: hydrate before you are thirsty to prevent dehydration. Take breaks. Doctors say any temperature above 80 degrees or humidity above 75 degrees can be dangerous without taking precautions before activity.

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