City of Lincoln seeks to curb preventable youth sports injuries

The Children's Hospital says they are seeing increases in youth sports injuries, so the city of Lincoln has created a task force to help prevent them.

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – The Children’s Hospital says they are seeing increases in preventable youth sports injuries.

It’s one reason the city of Lincoln has teamed up with doctors and coaches to create a Youth Sports Injury Prevention Task Force to help get in front of these issues.

The three areas of focus: Concussions, overuse and dehydration.

“We’re seeing increases in all three of those issues,” Dr. Natalie Ronshaugen of Children’s Hospital of Omaha said.

Per the American Academy of Pediatrics, approximately 30 million children participate in sports each year in the United States. 3.5 million kids, 14 years and under, receive medical treatment for sports injuries.

The goal with the program is to help parents and coaches identify signs of preventable injuries.

“You also have to kind of pick up on those signs because the athletes aren’t going to be able to recognize it themselves and tell you there’s a problem,” Lincoln Sox youth baseball coach Brian Vanis said.

Ricardo Noyola, a youth soccer coach for Dreamers FC who is on the task force, says he monitors his own players for signs of overuse.

“If a player had, let’s say, a soccer tournament for the weekend, then we might give him or her the day off the next practice, maybe the next practice is focused more on stretching and recovery, versus a full training session that he or she might have had,” Noyola said.

The task force developed materials for youth sports organizations and families including videos, safety tips and online training for youth coaches.

“Sports are a big part of our youth experience here and so anything we can do to make it safe, and for them to continue to participate is really the best avenue for us,” Lincoln-Lancaster County health director Pat Lopez said.

You can view youth sports injury prevention resources here.

Categories: Lancaster, Nebraska News, News