Nebraska Wesleyan professor urges parents to be proactive to prevent fall sports injuries

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LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN)- One in three people who play a team sport can be seriously injured while doing so, according to Safe Kids Worldwide.

Nebraska Wesleyan University’s Mark Stutz says injury prevention starts at home with parents.

“The first thing that’s very important is that they undergo a sports physical or an annual exam with their physician,” said Stutz. “Make sure that there’s no underlying injuries or conditions that were previously undetected.”

If and when your child is cleared, communicating with their coach is the next step to preventing unnecessary injury.

“The child needs to know if they feel pain if they’ve got any kind of questions or issues, they need to talk to the coach,” Stutz said.  “They also need to let their parent know after practice or a game, whatever it might be.”

He points out injuries can happen at any time due to various reasons, but a simple rule of thumb can save kids a trip to ER this fall.

“One little key might be as far as participating would be maybe not participating in that sport more hours than their age.  So if they’re twelve, 12 hours would be their max,” Stutz warns.

He also says rest isn’t the only factor in preventing potential life-long injuries, but says preparing for Nebraska’s heat in the early season can help your children acclimate themselves.

“Heat illness, especially in Nebraska is a very serious condition, so to prevent [heat exhaustion] it’s not the day of, it needs to be several days before.”

Stutz says as fall sports begin, not overdoing it gives them the opportunity to rest and enjoy the activity they’re participating in.

“Let them just be a kid and do as many different things as possible,” he said. “As long as they’re not working the same muscles and the same joints and that kind of thing.”

For more information on preventing sports-related injuries, go to or visit Safe Kids Worldwide for detailed safety tips and nutrition goals.

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