High School Football Injury Prevention
Active participation in high school football season is an honored tradition for many Minnesota families. We have tips to help your high school football player enjoy an injury-free season.
Fall leaves and cheering crowds at high school football games go together in Minnesota. However, the fact that more than one million high school athletes are treated annually for football-related injuries is nothing to cheer about. Football is the leading cause of school sports injuries, but we’ve got guidelines you can follow to reduce the risk that your child will be injured on the field.
- Maintain fitness through summer months. If children stay active during the summer, they’ll be better conditioned to participate in fall sports.
- Get a pre-season physical. All players benefit from a pre-season physical to determine readiness to play, and to ensure that they don’t have a condition which would limit their ability to compete.
- Take time to warm up before playing. Research shows that cold muscles are more prone to injury. Five minutes of aerobic activity like jumping jacks, running, or walking, followed by a few gentle stretches, will reduce risk of injury.
- Stay hydrated. Generally, athletes should drink 24 ounces of non-caffeinated fluid two hours before exercise, and another 8 ounces of water right before exercise to avoid performance-damaging dehydration. A cup of water every 20 minutes during exercise is also recommended.
- Play in proper equipment. Football players should wear protective gear including a helmet, pads for shoulders, hips, tail, and knees, thigh guards, a mouth guard, an athletic supporter, and shoes that meet league requirements. Players wearing glasses should have lenses constructed with non-shattering safety glass.
In the event that injury does occur, confirm that your child’s coach is prepared to respond. All coaches should be knowledgeable about first aid for minor injuries and have a plan to access medical assistance for more serious injuries.
Summit Orthopedics offers comprehensive sports medicine expertise
From Olympians to pro athletes to kids in youth sports and those that just want to be more active—Summit Orthopedics delivers expert care by fellowship-trained sports medicine physicians. If you are recently injured or concerned about ongoing pain, Summit Orthopedics sports medicine specialists have the expertise to evaluate your discomfort and develop a plan to quickly and safely help you get back to being active.
Summit has convenient locations across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin. We have state-of-the-art centers for comprehensive orthopedic care in Eagan, MN, Vadnais Heights, MN, Plymouth, MN, and Woodbury, MN, as well as several additional community clinics.
More resources for you
- Safety Tips For Choosing Football Helmets
- Ask Dr. Skendzel: Can I recover from sports injuries as quickly as a football star?
- Supporting the Woodbury High School football program
- Ask Dr. Skendzel: Is My Child Safe Playing On Artificial Turf?
- Football QUICKGuide
- Prevent Your High School Athlete From Injury
No matter what your age, doing this one simple thing can help keep your back pain-free for a lifetime.