Injury Prevention in Youth Sport

With the go ahead from the Government for Children’s sports to resume as at July 1, it is important for parents to be aware of injury prevention for their children. Recent research has discovered that 40% of injuries in children is linked to sports-related activity. This astonishing statistic shows how common injury can be and the importance of helping your child prevent this from happening. 

While the risk of your child being injured during sport is high, the benefits of your child playing a sport most definitely outweighs this risk. It’s no secret that physical activity is great for physical and mental health. It teaches your child how to be a team player and encourages good sportsmanship. To ensure your child can play a whole season of sport injury-free, follow the below tips to reduce the risk: 

  • Warm up – Warming up the body through static stretching and dynamic movement increases the heart rate and blood circulation, loosens joints and warms up the muscles. This in turn prepares the body for more vigorous movement.
  • Cool down – After intense activity, it is important to cool down the body through easy exercises and stretches to allow the body to transition to a resting state. By allowing the body to cool down properly, it reduces the risk of injury. 
  • Wear proper gear – Ensuring your child is wearing appropriate protective equipment for their sporting activity can also reduce the risk of injury. Equipment such as pads, mouth guards, helmets, head guards, and eyewear are designed to reduce impact to the specified area of the body to protect from any forceful contact. While this will not stop injury from occurring, it will reduce the risk. 
  • Know when to stop – It is vital to teach your child when to stop and have a break. Whether they have hurt themselves, or just not feeling 100%, they must stop and rest. Overusing your body can lead to injury. 
  • Keep hydrated and cool – Ensuring your child is drinking adequate amounts of fluid during and after sport is essential. Keeping your child hydrated maintains their body temperature and lubricates their joints. It is also important to ensure they are not wearing too many layers of clothing to avoid their body from overheating, even in the cooler months. 

While the above tips will help to prevent injury, it will not guarantee an injury-free sporting season. If your child does encounter pain or a sporting injury, ensure to seek professional advice from your local physiotherapist. They will be able to determine exactly what is going on by listening to your child’s sporting history and provide the appropriate treatment for recovery.

Elin, is an alumni of St. Edward’s University and holder of a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology, furthered her academic journey by attaining a Doctor of Physiotherapy from Macquarie University in 2022.

Her passion for sports, particularly football (soccer), is evident in both her academic pursuits and personal endeavors. Specialising in the comprehensive well-being of athletes, Elin focuses on restoring them to peak performance while actively preventing future injuries.

Elin’s professional expertise is centered on musculoskeletal rehabilitation, with a specific emphasis on addressing and preventing knee injuries. Her approach integrates expert treatment with a commitment to educating and empowering patients, fostering their active involvement in enhancing their health and overall quality of life.

As an active participant in NPL football with SD Raiders, Elin brings firsthand experience and a profound understanding of the sport’s demands. Beyond the field, she extends her influence by contributing sports coverage over the weekends.

Christopher (Chris) Han graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Therapy, and then completed the Doctor of Physiotherapy program at Macquarie University in 2018. Chris is currently undertaking his PhD at the University of Sydney and Institute for Musculoskeletal Health in the field of low back pain and is due to complete this in early 2024. 

Chris is currently an assistant Physiotherapist for the NRL Referees. Chris has previous experience as the head Physiotherapist at Panthers Premier League Netball and a number of elite sporting athletes in the private setting.

Through Chris’ experiences, he has a particular interest in all areas of the body and musculoskeletal physiotherapy, sports, vestibular rehabilitation, and Men’s Health (pre and post prostate surgery).

Suzanne graduated from Western Sydney University with a Bachelor of Health Science (Sports and Exercise Science) in 2015. She then went on to continue her studies at Macquarie University graduating from the Doctor of Physiotherapy post-graduate degree in June 2019.

Since graduating, Suzanne has worked in the local Penrith area in both private practice and Sports Physiotherapy. Suzanne has worked with sporting teams including Penrith District Netball Association, Mt Druitt Rangers (NPL), Penrith Valley Figure Skating Club, and local dance and cheer schools. 

Suzanne has a particular interest in working with artistic athletes including cheerleaders and dancers. She has a professional background in both cheer and dance and has previously worked as both a cheer coach and dance teacher. Suzanne’s previous experiences are an invaluable resource to her as a physiotherapist, as she has a thorough understanding of the level of physical fitness and skill acquisition that these athletes must have in order to be successful on stage and in competition.

Suzanne’s other areas of clinical interest reside in lower limb musculoskeletal injuries, spinal pathologies and women’s health.

Nathanial graduated as a physiotherapist in 2012 which saw him work in private practice and hospital settings gaining experience in all areas of physiotherapy including hand therapy, splinting/casting, pre/post-operative care, Men’s Health and general musculoskeletal, occupational and sports physiotherapy. Since then he has gone on to complete further studies in physiotherapy enabling him to be the only dual titled Musculoskeletal, Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist in Penrith.

Nathanial has a strong background in sports physiotherapy achieving accreditation with NSWIS as a service provider and working with many elite sports teams.

Nathanial has a particular interest in working with elite athletes, complex cases and in particular assessment and management of knee, hip and shoulder pain.

Andrea graduated from the Australian Catholic University completing her Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science in 2018 and Master’s of Clinical Exercise Physiology in 2020. After graduating she attained accreditation with ESSA as an Exercise Physiologist.

During her studies she gained clinical experience in both hospital and private practice settings, in cardiac rehabilitation, neurological conditions, cancer and chronic musculoskeletal injuries.

Since working at Progressive, Andrea has a specialist interest in treating musculoskeletal injuries, helping people in the mid-late stage of rehab to get them to return to sport or work. As well as helping people manage chronic conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis and diabetes.