Sports Safety--Identifying High-Risk Situations High-risk situations include faulty or ill-fitting safety gear and equipment, lack of adult supervision, and an unsafe playing environment. Sports Injury Prevention Detailed information on sports safety, including safety gear and equipment Cheerleading Safety A safe cheerleading program will include direct adult supervision, proper conditioning, skills training and warm-up exercises. Make Variety a Goal in Kids' Sports Children should avoid specializing in a sport until they reach adolescence, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends. Reason: for every prodigy who becomes a successful athlete, thousands of youths suffer physically or psychologically from being pushed to compete at a young age. Protecting Your Child from Sports Injuries Most children depend on recreational and school sports for exercise and fun. But too many young athletes suffer needless injuries. Sports Eye Safety Is No Game Sports is the leading cause of school-age children's eye injuries, but most of those injuries are preventable. Mouthguards Mouthguards are important to help protect your child's mouth and teeth from serious injury. Organized Sports for Kids Picking the best sport for your child and providing the right level of encouragement can be a challenge, but with a little research, you will find the sports program that best fits your youngster and your family’s budget and schedule. Preparticipation Physical Examinations A preparticipation examination may be required for any child who wants to take part in a school athletic activity or in an organized sports activity outside of school. Sports and Children with Special Needs Special needs children are sometimes not encouraged to exercise, because their parents or guardians fear they'll be injured. But physical activity is as important for special needs children, as it is for any child. Workouts to Help Prevent Sports Injuries It may not be always possible to avoid injury when playing sports, especially physical contact sports, but participants can help protect themselves by properly preparing before and after a game or practice session by warming up muscles and then stretching. Sports and Young Athletes with Hepatitis B and Sickle Cell Trait Although youngsters with sickle cell disease may participate in sports for fun, they are unlikely to play competitive sports like basketball or football because they need to avoid sports that involve overexertion, overheating, dehydration, or chilling. Preventing MRSA in Athletes MRSA most often causes minor skin infections in young athletes, but if untreated, the bacteria may invade the bloodstream and become a life-threatening infection. Eating Disorders and Young Athletes Playing competitive sports can boost self-esteem and teach teamwork and leadership lessons. But sometimes being on a team that focuses too heavily on performance—or appearance—may trigger an eating disorder. Contact Sports and Kids: How to Keep Your Children Safe Kids are more susceptible to sports injuries than adults because they are still growing and developing. The risk for injury is even greater if the child plays a contact sport such as basketball, football, or soccer.