CLEARWATER, Fla. – November xx, 2017 – A child is sent to the emergency room every 3 minutes with a sports-related injury, according to the non-profit, Safe Kids Worldwide. That amounts to more than 1.35 million children per year, and those numbers are probably drastically low. Many more kids end up in urgent care or at their primary care physician with similar injuries.

“Minor bumps and bruises are to be expected, but we are seeing more severe injuries as children become more competitive and active in sports. Sprains and strains, fractures, contusions and abrasions all top the list in the emergency room of sports-related injuries. A lot of these are from overuse. This happens when our tendons, bones and joints are performing the same activity over and over without time to recover. Proper conditioning, training, and most importantly rest can prevent this,” said David Thompson, M.D., a board certified orthopaedic surgeon at Orthopaedic Associates of West Florida.

Parents educating themselves on proper prevention and sports safety can help reduce the number of injuries. Here are the top tips:

  • Get a physical. Before starting any sport, young athletes should receive a sports physical. This can be done at their regular appointment with their primary care physician, however, it usually requires a separate exam.
  • Rest up. Make your young athlete take at least 1 day off per week from any organized activity to recovery physically.
  • Take time off. Children should take a combined 3 months off per year from any specific sport. “That can be divided up throughout the year. However, it is extremely important that the joints get time to recover from repeated activities. That doesn’t mean the child shouldn’t stay physically active. However, it’s simply about taking time off from one particular sport. For example, young swimmers need a break to prevent shoulder injuries,” said Dr. Thompson.
  • Cross train. All athletes no matter their age should vary their workouts to include multiple different activities to prevent injuries.
  • Keep it fun. To prevent burnout, children’s sports practices should be made fun and most importantly age-appropriate.

For more information about visit or call 727-461-6026.

About Orthopaedic Associates of West Florida:

At Orthopaedic Associates of West Florida, our family of board-certified physicians have been taking care of bay area patients for more than 30 years. We merge state-of-the-art technology with unsurpassed physician skills. OAWF provides patients with complete care offering two in-house MRI locations, X-ray at each of our four offices, Bone Densitometry, EMG/NCV, Physical and Hand Therapy and an Orthotics/Prosthetics department. We have four convenient locations to serve patients across the entire bay area.