Tips To Help You Play It Safe During Trauma Awareness Month

Every year during National Trauma Awareness Month in May, organizations including the AAOS, the American Trauma Society, CDC, NHTSA, EMSC, USSG, SafeKids, the National Safety Council, MADD, and the Society of Trauma Nurses join forces to raise trauma awareness and prevent injuries. We’ve gathered some of their tips to help you enjoy sports activities safely.

The best approach to traumatic injury is to prevent it before it happens; that’s what National Trauma Awareness Month is all about. The Summit Orthopedics sports medicine team supports the work of national medical and safety nonprofits to reduce the number of annual sports injuries caused by trauma.

There are a number of causes of traumatic injury, including physical damage sustained during sports activity. Preventable sports-related injuries identified by the American Trauma Society include:

  • General sports injuries, including sprains, strains, and trauma to bones
  • Concussions
  • Head Injuries sustained when helmets are not worn

The Summit sports medicine team has some tips to help you and your family reduce the risk of these sports-related traumas:

  • Wear the correct protective gear for your sport, and make sure it fits properly.
  • If your sport requires a helmet, choose one that meets the safety standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
  • Incorporate rest periods into your sports schedule. Take off at least one day per week from your sport, and allow yourself—or your child—a break of at least one month annually from training for a particular sport. Time off from focused sports training and competition allows the body to recover and reduces the risk of injury.
  • Maintain a muscle-strengthening program that includes conditioning exercises during practice.
  • Use stretching exercises after games or practice to maintain and increase flexibility.
  • Learn and use the proper physical techniques during sports competition.
  • Follow the rules of the game, respect restrictions on prohibited tackles or other dangerous competitive tactics, and play safely.
  • If you feel sharp, stabbing pain when you try to put weight on a part of your body, or if using a limb causes pain during a sport, don’t try to tough it out on the field. Stop playing.
  • If you suspect an injury, consult the sports medicine specialists at Summit Orthopedics without delay. The sooner an injury is diagnosed, the more effectively we can treat it.
  • Drink fluids before, during, and after exercise to avoid heat injury. Don’t practice or compete in extremely hot temperatures or during periods of dangerously high humidity.

Prevention begins with risk awareness. Our sports medicine team is always happy to discuss your safety concerns and offer guidance to help you safely enjoy the sports you love.

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