Town of North Andover
Department of Public Health
Brian LaGrasse, Director of Public Health
1600 Osgood St.
Building 20, Unit 2035
North Andover, MA 01845
Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
North Andover Health Department Provides Residents With Back to School Sport Safety Tips
NORTH ANDOVER – As students prepare to return to school and participate in sports and recreational activities this fall, the North Andover Health Department is reminding residents of several safety tips to follow.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 2.6 million children ages 19 and under are treated in the emergency room each year for sports and recreation-related injuries.
“As students return to school sports and other activities in the next few weeks, it is vital that they are staying safe and remembering to drink lots of water,” said Brian LaGrasse, North Andover Director of Public Health. “Parents, coaches and teachers should keep an eye out for any signs of injury or dehydration and continue encouraging our youth to remain healthy and active.”
In order to ensure a safe back-to-school season for all, the North Andover Health Department encourages residents to follow these tips provided by the CDC:
• Gear up. When children are active in sports and recreation, make sure they use the right protective gear for their activity, such as helmets, wrist guards, knee or elbow pads.
• Use the right stuff. Be sure that sports protective equipment is in good condition, fits appropriately and is worn correctly all the time. For example, avoid missing or broken buckles or compressed or worn padding. Poorly fitting equipment may be uncomfortable and may not offer the best protection.
• Practice makes perfect. Have children learn and practice skills they need in their activity. Knowing how to tackle safely is important in preventing injuries in football and soccer. Have children practice proper form – this can prevent injuries during baseball, softball, and many other activities. Also, be sure to safely and slowly increase activities to improve physical fitness. Being in good condition can protect kids from injury.
• Pay attention to temperature. Allow time for athletes to gradually adjust to hot or humid environments to prevent heat-related injuries or illness. Parents and coaches should pay close attention to make sure that players are hydrated and appropriately dressed.
• Be a good model. Communicate positive safety messages and serve as a model of safe behavior, including wearing a helmet and following the rules.
Additionally, LaGrasse would like to remind residents to make sure athletes are applying sunscreen when they are outdoors, especially during the peak hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. when the sun’s UV rays are most harmful. Students participating in activities, practices or events that take place during peak mosquito hours, from dusk until dawn, should also be sure to use mosquito repellent to protect against West Nile Virus and eastern equine encephalitis (EEE).
Anyone with questions or concerns about keeping their children safe during extracurricular sports and activities can contact the North Andover Health Department at 978-688-9540.