Basketball is a popular sport for both boys and girls from school age to young adult. Unfortunately, basketball is one of the sports most often responsible for the sports-related injuries seen in emergency departments – close to 900,000 a year. Many of these injuries can be prevented if players follow the rules of the game, train and condition correctly, and play in safe environments.
Injuries to basketball players are:
- Usually minor and consist of sprains and strains.
- Most commonly sustained to the ankle and knee.
- Often eye injuries, as a result of being hit with fingers or elbows.
- More likely to occur during practice.
- More common in girls.
- Often of a more serious nature in girls.
- Before your child starts any sports program take them to the doctor for a physical exam and injury risk assessment.
- Be sure your child wears all required safety equipment whenever they practice or play. Basketball safety gear includes:
- Mouth guards (protect teeth and mouth, especially if your child has braces, and also absorbs some of the shock if your child is hit in the head or jaw)
- Sports eyewear (if your child wears glasses)
- For boys, an athletic supporter
- Encourage your child to warm up and stretch before playing.
- Talk to your child’s coach. Coaches must enforce safe play and the rules of the game, and they should be aware of injury risks to children.
- First aid should be available at every practice and game.
- Never encourage your child to “play through the pain.” If your child is injured, seek medical care.
- Make sure the playing area is visibly free from damage and hazards.
- Most important: Playing basketball should be fun! If too much of the focus is on competing and winning your child may push too hard and get hurt.