Department of Public Health
Thomas Carbone, Director of Public Health
36 Bartlet St.
Andover, MA 01810
Monday, Aug. 15, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Andover Public Health Division Provides Residents With Back to School Sport Safety Tips
ANDOVER – With summer coming to a close and students preparing to return to school, the Andover Public Health Division would like to remind residents of several safety tips surrounding school sports and recreational activities.
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.
“Being active, whether playing sports, intramural activities, or working out is a vital part of being healthy,” said Thomas Carbone, Andover Director of Public Health. “While we always encourage our residents to be active, we also want to stress the importance of being safe while doing so. Coaches and parents should be extra vigilant to make sure that students are staying hydrated and wearing proper attire.”
In order to ensure a safe back-to-school season for all, the Andover Public Health Division 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.
Anyone with questions or concerns about keeping their children safe during extracurricular sports and activities can contact the Andover Health Division at 978-623-8295.