Sports and Exercise Safety (for Teens) (2023)

Did you know that playing tennis with a badly strung racquet while wearing worn-out shoes can increase your risk of injury almost as much as playing football without shoulder pads? Using the wrong — or not properly fitted — equipment is a major cause of injuries.

Helmets Are Key

The equipment you wear while participating in sports and other activities is key to preventing injuries.

Start with helmets: They're important for sports and activities such as football, hockey, baseball, softball, biking, lacrosse, horseback riding, skateboarding, inline skating, skiing, and snowboarding — to name just a few.Helmets reduce the risk of head injuries 75%–85%.

  • Always wear a helmet made for the sport you're playing.
  • Your helmet should be cared for, fit well, worn consistently and correctly, and certified for use.
  • When choosing a bike helmet, look for a sticker that says the helmet meets the safety standard set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), a federal regulatory agency that creates safety standards for bike helmets and other safety equipment.
  • Multi-sport helmets used for inline skating and skateboarding aren’t considered safe for bicycle riding unless they have the CPSC sticker.
  • Need to find the right helmet size for you? Wrap a soft tape measure around your forehead, just above your eyebrows and ears. Then match your head size to the corresponding helmet size.
  • Helmets should fit snugly but comfortably in a horizontal position on your head and shouldn't tilt backward or forward. The straps should form a “V” around your ear and the buckle should be fastened at all times.
  • Every helmet should be replaced after any accident, as there can be more damage you can’t see.
  • Football helmets must be certified by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE).

Note: Helmets greatly reduce injury-related fatalities, but they do not protect against concussions.

Eye Protection

Eye protection also is a must for many sports. Sports participation is the leading cause of eye injuries in teens, but proper fitting protective eyewear can reduce the risk of serious eye injury by 90%.

  • The most protective eye gear is made of polycarbonate or Trivex lenses and has been tested especially for sports use.
  • Facemasks or polycarbonate guards or shields that attach to a helmet are worn in sports such as football, ice hockey, lacrosse, softball and baseball when batting.
  • Goggles are often worn for soccer, basketball, racquet sports, snowboarding, street hockey, lacrosse, paintball, baseball, and softball when fielding.
  • If you wear glasses, you'll probably need prescription polycarbonate goggles. Don't just wear your regular glasses when you're on the court or field. Contact lenses don’t provide protection.
  • All eye protection should fit securely and have cushions above your eyebrows and over your nose.
  • Eye protection should be replaced if damaged or starting to yellow with age.
  • Eye protection also can protect you from ultraviolet radiation when skiing, mountain climbing, or doing water sports.
  • Eye protection may also protect against irritants that could become dangerous like bugs while cycling.
  • All eye protection should meet the standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials (AMTM).

More Essential Equipment

Mouthguards can protect your mouth, teeth, and tongue:

(Video) How playing sports benefits your body ... and your brain - Leah Lagos and Jaspal Ricky Singh

  • Mouthguards are recommended for all contact sports to reduce dental trauma.
  • Wear a mouthguard if you play a contact sport where head injury is a risk, such as football, lacrosse, basketball, hockey, volleyball, martial arts, boxing, or wrestling.
  • Mouthguards can be fitted for your mouth by a dentist or purchased at sports stores.
  • Keep your mouthguard clean and rinse it between uses.
  • If you wear a retainer, always take it out before you start to exercise, practice, or play.

Wrist, knee, and elbow guards are important gear too:

  • If you inline skate, snowboard, skateboard, or ride a scooter, you should wear guards.
  • Elbow and wrist guards can prevent arm and wrist fractures, and knee guards can shield your knees from cuts and breaks.

In some sports, especially contact sports, pads are essential:

  • All kinds of sports, from hockey to volleyball, and soccer to inline skating, use pads. There are shin, knee, elbow, wrist, chest, shoulder, hip, and thigh pads.
  • Check with your coach or doctor to find out what kinds of pads you might need for your sport.

Some guys may also need to wear a protective cup (to protect the groin area):

  • Guys who play hockey, football, basketball, baseball, soccer, and other contact sports should use a cup.
  • For noncontact sports that involve running, guys should wear an athletic supporter.
  • If you're unsure, ask your coach, athletic trainer, or parent if you need a cup for your sport.

And last but not least, the right footwear can keep you from tripping and falling:

  • You know that sports like football, baseball, softball, and soccer require cleats. But you may not realize that sports like skateboarding and biking need special types of shoes, too. Ask your coach or doctor what shoes are best for your sport.
  • Replace shoes and cleats that have worn out or are no longer supportive.

Not only is the right kind of equipment important, so is the right fit. If you don't know if your equipment fits properly, check with a coach, gym teacher, athletic trainer, or parent to make sure you have the right size and that you're wearing it correctly. Many sporting goods stores can also help you find the right fit.

The bottom line: Wearing the right equipment with the right fit greatly lowers your risk of getting hurt.

(Video) Preventing Sports Injuries in Children

Warming Up and Stretching

Don't rush into any sport or exercise without warming up first. Muscles that have not been properly prepared tend to be injured more easily.

Start out with some light cardiovascular activities, such as jogging, jumping jacks, shuffling, high knees, or butt kicks. They’ll increase your heart rate and body temperature, and warm up your muscles. Follow your 10-minute warm-up with some dynamic stretches. (Stretching works best after a warm-up because your tissues are more flexible due to the increase in heat and blood flow to the muscles.)

Don’t forget about stretching too. Do some before play. Dynamic stretches to do before exercises include toe walking, heel walking, forward lunges, side lunges, toy soldier, inchworm, and arm circles.

Do static stretching after activity to avoid stretching the muscles too much for hard work. Slowly stretch a muscle to the point of mild discomfort and then hold the position for 30 seconds. Static stretches include standing quadriceps stretch, hamstring stretch, calf stretch, shoulder stretch, wrist stretch, groin stretch, back stretch, iliotibial band stretch, triceps stretch, and chest stretch.

Besides warm-ups and stretches, practice sessions are also excellent preparation for many sports or activities. If you belong to a team, attend as many team practices and games as you can. It is important to work your way up to full participation by practicing. Typically, you should start 3 weeks before the start of your season to get in shape. This will put you in top physical condition and help you and your teammates work together. And knowing how your teammates play will help prevent injuries.

Even if you don't belong to a team, you can use regular workouts and practices to enhance your performance and lessen the chance of injuries. Keep yourself in top shape with regular practice. For instance, try doing tennis drills or practicing your serve before starting a set. Shoot some baskets or play a quick game of one-on-one with a friend. Practice gets your brain and body to work together while improving your performance.

(Video) Safety Practices in Sports and Exercises

Although you should practice regularly, don't overdo it. Sudden increases in training frequency, duration, or intensity might produce better performance at first, but can lead to overuse injuries later. Allow for a day off for rest between days of activity and alternate your activities. If you run a lot one day, alternate with swimming or strength training the next day. Your doctor or coach can help you develop a training and conditioning program that's right for your age and level of development.

When to Come Back After an Injury

If you try to come back too soon after an injury, you run the great risk of reinjuring yourself — maybe even more seriously than before. If you come back to a sport or activity after a long break, slowly increase your activity level by 10% each week until you reach your optimal fitness level. Don't let anyone pressure you into playing before your body is fully healed. Your doctor, coach, or trainer will give you specific advice on when it’s OK to return to your sport or activity.

Taking time to heal is particularly important if you've had a concussion. Lots of athletes try to come back too quickly after getting a concussion — because they can't see an injury, they think they're OK to play. But jumping back into the game too soon puts a player at greater risk for another concussion, and other even more dangerous brain injuries. It’s a rule in many states to get clearance from your doctor to play again if you've had a concussion. Your doctor will come up with an individualized plan for you.

Many athletes use pain relievers to avoid pain. If you feel lasting pain, don't use pain relievers to mask it, though. Taking large amounts of pain relievers — or, worse yet, taking pain relievers over a long period of time in order to play — can be dangerous. Pain is the body's way of signaling that something is wrong. If you have pain, talk to your doctor.

Be sure to get medical care whenever you have:

  • moderate to severe pain
  • pain that interferes with daily activity or sleep
  • swelling of the injured area
  • numbness or tingling after injury
  • a problem doing normal activities
  • pain that prevents you from maintaining proper form
  • a limp
  • a change or decrease in range of motion of a joint
  • a decrease in strength

The same advice goes for a cold or flu virus — don't play if you're sick. Do not play when you have a fever. You won't be able to concentrate if your head is stuffed up and your nose is running faster than you are, and your lack of concentration can put you at risk for injury. You can also spread the cold or flu to the rest of your teammates. It's better to wait until you feel better, so you can have a safe season.


The Rules of the Game

Rules and regulations are there for a good reason — to keep you and your teammates in the game and to avoid injuries. Do yourself a favor and learn the rules and then follow them.

Rules aren't restrictions. They're designed to promote safety so that everyone can enjoy the game. For example, a late hit in football after the referee's whistle has blown will lead to a big penalty. This rule is important because a player could be seriously injured if they’re not expecting a tackle after play has stopped.

Sometimes rules may not be directly related to a sport or activity but need to be followed anyway. For instance, if you're inline skating, skateboarding, or riding a bike, pay strict attention to all traffic laws, especially when riding on busy public streets.

Proper techniques and sportsmanship promote safety. This goes for any sport, from motor racing to baseball. Baseball players know not to spike the opposing player who's covering the bag, even when sliding hard into second base. And when two tennis players rush the net, an expertly angled volley is the correct shot — not a hard smash socked directly at an opponent's face!

Another example of a safe technique happens in weightlifting. Weightlifters should take a breath between each repetition. Exhale on the pushing phase of a lift. So if you're doing a bench press, let the bar come down to your chest, and if you're pushing up, breathe out. Holding your breath can raise your blood pressure, hurt your lungs or eyes, and if you're pressing a lot of weight, can cause a blackout or fainting spell.

So when you're sticking to rules, regulations, and proper techniques, remember that they aren't there to restrict you — they're there to keep you safe and injury-free.

(Video) Mayo Clinic Minute: Youth sports safety during a pandemic


What are the safety precautions when playing games and sports? ›

Take these 5 steps to prevent injuries so you can stay in the game:
  • Wear protective gear, such as helmets, protective pads, and other gear.
  • Warm up and cool down.
  • Know the rules of the game.
  • Watch out for others.
  • Don't play when you're injured.

What are 7 safety precautions in PE? ›

Physical Education Rules
  • -Wear proper clothes and sneakers.
  • -No jewelry.
  • -Be ready to participate.
  • -To be excused- you must have parent/doctor note.
  • -Use bathroom before or after class.
  • -Stop–Look–Listen when teacher begins to speak, claps, whistles.
  • -When teacher speaks- everyone listens and follows directions.

What are 5 things you can do to be safe when exercising? ›

How can I help prevent an injury?
  1. Use safety equipment. ...
  2. Warm up to your workout. ...
  3. Drink plenty of fluids when you are physically active, even if you are not thirsty.
  4. Always bend forward from the hips, not the waist. ...
  5. Stop being active if you feel very out of breath, dizzy, or nauseated or have pain.
16 Feb 2021

What are 5 basic safety rules? ›

The most complex safety topics boil down to these simple safety rules.
  • Always wear your seatbelt when in a vehicle or heavy equipment. ...
  • Always inspect equipment and tools. ...
  • Always use fall protection when working at heights. ...
  • Stay of out the blind spots of heavy equipment. ...
  • Never put yourself in the line of fire.
22 Nov 2019

What are 10 general safety rules? ›

10 Safety Rules For Kids
  • 1: Don't talk to Strangers. ...
  • 2: Cross the Street with Adult Supervision. ...
  • 3: Never Play with Fire. ...
  • 4: Be Safety Conscious While Going to School. ...
  • 5: Be Safety at Home. ...
  • 6: Be Safety Smart While Doing Chores. ...
  • 7: Play Safety. ...
  • 8: Safety on the Road.
15 Feb 2022

What are 5 personal safety rules? ›

Be responsible for your personal safety:
  • Be alert to potential danger.
  • Trust your instincts.
  • Be aware of all your surroundings.
  • Avoid anything that does not feel safe.
  • Anticipate possible problems.
  • Be vigilant and prepared for anything.
  • Report suspicious activity.

Why do we need to know the safety practices in sports and exercise? ›

Safety precautions and equipment can be instrumental in preventing or lessening injuries from sporting activities. The environment in which sports are played also has an impact on injury risks. Organized sports take place at schools, public parks, or recreation centers.

What are the 6 important things does one need to know in playing sports? ›

  • Competition. One of the most obvious life lessons that come with playing youth sports is competition. ...
  • Good Sportsmanship. Winning and losing in a respectable manner is a true sign of good sportsmanship. ...
  • Teamwork. ...
  • Resilience. ...
  • Courage. ...
  • Hard Work.

Why is health and safety important in sport? ›

Players are exposed lot of conditions that could result in injuries so players need to learn safety measures to prevent injuries. However, accidents do occur every now and then. It is therefore important the right emergency equipment and personnel are on hand during matches.

What is the most common safety precaution in exercise? ›

Always warm up before doing exercise and cool down afterwards to lower the risk of strains and sprains; Take appropriate breaks during the activity; Do not exercise with an empty stomach.

How can you avoid hazards and risks in exercise? ›

Warm up and Cool Down

Warming up before exercise gets your blood flowing, warms up your muscles, and helps you avoid injury. The easiest way to warm up is to exercise slowly for the first few minutes, then pick up the pace. For example, before running, walk briskly for 5 to 10 minutes.

What are 3 useful personal safety tips? ›

Personal Safety Tips
  • Always be alert and aware of the people around you.
  • Educate yourself concerning prevention tactics.
  • Be aware of locations and situations which would make you appear vulnerable to crime, such as alleys and dark parking lots.

What are 9 general safety guidelines? ›

General Precautions
  • Your safety is your personal responsibility.
  • Always follow the correct procedures.
  • Never take shortcuts.
  • Take responsibility and clean up if you made a mess.
  • Clean and organize your workspace.
  • Ensure a clear and easy route to emergency exits and equipment.
  • Be alert and awake on the job.

What are the 6 safety essentials? ›

Safety management systems have six elements:
  • A safety plan.
  • Policies, procedures and processes.
  • Training and induction.
  • Monitoring.
  • Supervision.
  • Reporting.

What are the 4 important things to put in mind when exercising? ›

5 Key Practices to Remember When You Exercise
  • Drink Water While You're Exercising. Even if you hydrate before and after exercise, you should still be taking in fluids during your workout. ...
  • Tire Out Your Muscles. ...
  • Rest Between Weight Training Sets. ...
  • Keep Good Form on Cardio Machines, Too. ...
  • Breathe When You Stretch.
27 Jan 2021

What are 3 ways to avoid injuries when exercising? ›

6 Tips to Prevent Injuries During Exercise
  1. Start your exercise routine slowly. ...
  2. Warm up your lower extremities. ...
  3. Stretch and strengthen your muscles. ...
  4. Stay loose. ...
  5. Keep your hips, shoulders and neck in check. ...
  6. Listen to your body.
22 Feb 2019

What are the 7 steps to safety? ›

The seven steps to safety are:
  • Step 1: Make Your Place Safe.
  • Step 2: Cool Tools for Family Rules.
  • Step 3: Feel Safe with People.
  • Step 4: What's Special about Our Family?
  • Step 5: Emergency.
  • Step 6: Ready Yet?
  • Step 7: Make a Care Plan.

What are 20 general safety rules? ›

20 most important safety rules in the workplace
  • Follow the dress code. ...
  • Wear safety gear. ...
  • Maintain personal hygiene. ...
  • Take responsibility for your personal safety. ...
  • Maintain a clean workspace. ...
  • Follow work procedures. ...
  • Learn how to act in an emergency. ...
  • Report accidents if they occur.

What are the 4 types of personal safety? ›

Head protection (e.g. safety helmets) Ear protection (e.g. earplugs) Foot protection (e.g. steel toecap boots) Hand and arm protection (e.g. gloves)

What are the three golden rules of safety? ›

Golden Rules
  • Comply with the law, standards and procedures.
  • Intervene on unsafe or non-compliant actions.
  • Respect our neighbors.

What are the ABC of safety? ›

Attitude, behavior, and control are the three most important (and perhaps the simplest) aspects of personal safety both on and off the job. Take a moment to review your safety ABC's to see if you're doing all you can to protect yourself, your coworkers, and your loved ones from careless, needless, injury.

What is daily safety checklist? ›

A daily safety inspection checklist enables to evaluate key workplace health and safety issues that have the potential of cropping up on a daily basis. This checklist helps you keep a constant vigil on daily work conditions, incidents and safety compliance of people, processes and machinery.

What do the 4 P's stand for safety? ›

Burke suggests that by examining what she terms "the four Ps" — people, parts, positions, and papers — the occupational health nurse stands the best chance of turning an accident or near-miss into a valuable learning experience.

What is personal safety for students? ›

What is Personal safety? Personal Safety empowers children to take part in their own protection by giving them age-appropriate information, skills, and self-esteem. Personal Safety teaches children that their body belongs only to them and nobody has the right to touch them in a way they don't like or understand.

What are the 7 fundamental sport skills? ›

What are the 10 fundamental skills? Balancing, running, jumping, catching, hopping, throwing, galloping, skipping, leaping, and kicking are the ten fundamental motor skills.

What are the 5 basic skills in sports? ›

Fundamental movement skills are basic movements such as throwing, kicking,running, jumping, hopping and catching. Fundamental sport skills are these movement skills applied to a sport situation: for example, kicking a soccer ball, running a sprint, jumping up for a basketball rebound, catching a baseball.

What do you mean by safety in sports? ›

People should engage in sport safely. There should be clear rules and a minimum risk of injury. Violence, discrimination and threatening behaviour have no place in sport.

What are the 4 main objectives of the health and safety? ›

The 4 main objectives that the act enforces are:
  • Employers' responsibilities.
  • Employees' responsibilities.
  • Enforcement of Health and Safety legislation.
  • Enforcement action.

What is health and safety in PE? ›

The health and safety statement provides a framework for pupils to gain an understanding of - and skills in - recognising hazards, risks and uncertainty in a range of contexts. Other subjects will also provide opportunities to develop risk awareness.

What are some safety suggestions? ›

Top safety tips!
  • Improve safety culture. My number one tip is to improve your workplace safety culture! ...
  • Avoid worker fatigue. ...
  • Hazard communication. ...
  • Take breaks to move. ...
  • Keep good posture. ...
  • Ensure everyone is wearing PPE. ...
  • Use tools and machines properly. ...
  • Always be aware of emergency exits and plans.
19 Jul 2019

What are 4 safety procedures? ›

General Safety
  • Don't fool around. ...
  • Never work while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, as you are a hazard to yourself and your co-workers.
  • Pay particular attention to moving objects, such as equipment, dollies, mixers, and slicers.
  • Walk, do not run, in the work areas.
  • Stay completely alert on the job.

Why is safety practices in sports important? ›

Safety precautions and equipment can be instrumental in preventing or lessening injuries from sporting activities. The environment in which sports are played also has an impact on injury risks. Organized sports take place at schools, public parks, or recreation centers.

What are the 6 ways to avoid sports injuries? ›

Six Ways to Avoid Sport Injuries
  • Stay conditioned. Keeping your body is shape over the summer is one of the best ways to avoid injury. ...
  • Don't forget to hydrate. ...
  • Make time for rest. ...
  • Warm up and stretch. ...
  • Use recommended safety equipment. ...
  • Play safe.
25 Oct 2016

What are the safety practices in outdoor activities? ›

10 Outdoor Adventure Safety Tips
  • Check The Weather. Before you head out on an adventure, check the weather. ...
  • Wear Appropriate Clothing. ...
  • Set Up Camp Before Dark. ...
  • Pack A First Aid Kit. ...
  • Bring Sunscreen. ...
  • Let Someone Know Where You Are. ...
  • Stay Hydrated. ...
  • Learn Basic Repair Skills.
7 May 2019

What are 5 good safety habits? ›

Five safety habits to live by
  • Be sure. Don't assume that you “might” know how to do a task, especially when it comes to machinery or equipment. ...
  • Be aware. Machinery and equipment can and will pinch, crush or cut you. ...
  • Good housekeeping is essential. ...
  • Choose your attitude. ...
  • Be your own person.
14 Aug 2017

What are 7 of the 10 safety tips? ›

Many of these accidents could have been avoided by following these workplace safety tips.
  • 1) Reduce Workplace Stress. ...
  • 2) Use Tools and Machines Properly. ...
  • 3) Use Mechanical Aids When Possible. ...
  • 4) Wear Protective Equipment. ...
  • 5) Stay Sober. ...
  • 6) Be Aware of Your Surroundings. ...
  • 7) Correct Posture Protects Your Back.

What are the 10 steps to prevent sports injury? ›

To reduce the risk of injury:
  1. Take time off. ...
  2. Wear the right gear. ...
  3. Strengthen muscles. ...
  4. Increase flexibility. ...
  5. Use the proper technique. ...
  6. Take breaks. ...
  7. Play safe. ...
  8. Do not play through pain.
20 Mar 2017

What are the 11 tips to prevent injury? ›

11 Tips to Prevent Injury during Your Outdoor Activities This...
  • Consult with Your Doctor Before you Work Out. ...
  • Choose Your Workout Carefully. ...
  • Learn and Use Proper Techniques. ...
  • Outfit Yourself with the Right Gear. ...
  • Diversify your workouts. ...
  • Start Gradually. ...
  • Warm Up. ...
  • Stay Hydrated.
5 Apr 2021

What are the top 5 most common reasons for sports injuries? ›

Top Five Most Common Reasons For Sports Injuries
  • OVERUSE. Chronic wear and tear of muscles, tendons, and joints can produce fatigue and overtraining muscle strains and cramps. ...

What are the 3 main points of safety? ›

For business owners, reducing injuries helps reduce business costs, foster employee well-being, and improve the work environment. To create a culture of workplace safety, focus on the following three areas: ergonomics, fatigue, and fall prevention.

What are three examples of safety practices? ›

8 Safety Tips in the Workplace
  • Always Report Unsafe Conditions. ...
  • Wear protective equipment. ...
  • Take breaks. ...
  • Don't skip steps. ...
  • Stay up to date with new procedures or protocols. ...
  • Maintain proper posture. ...
  • Offer guidance to new employees.
29 Jun 2021


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