Website may help prevent sports injuires

A new website that launched today could help athletes, coaches and parents prevent injuries.

The website, Active & Safe Central (https://activesafe.ca) lists common injuries, assesses injury risks and offers tips to avoid those injuries for more than 50 popular sports, from longboarding to fencing to rugby. It was developed by the BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit (BCIRPU) at BC Children’s Hospital, along with injury prevention experts, sport injury specialists and sport organizations across Canada.

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“No one wants to see a child sidelined from an activity they love by a preventable injury,” said Dr. Shelina Babul, an associate director and sports injury specialist at BCIRPU and the co-lead of the project, in a press release.

The website offers information about common injuries suffered by athletes in a particular sport, statistics about those injuries, risk factors along with tips for participants and parents, coaches and teachers, officials and administrators as well as health professionals to prevent those injuries.

For instance, concussions comprise 20% of all injuries in high school cheerleading and three-quarters of college cheerleaders have experienced one or more injuries that can also include ankle sprains and lower back pain. The chance of sustaining an injury in cheerleading increases by twice as much if a cheerleader already has a history or injury, and the best way to prevent an injury in the sport is to learn the proper technique for tumbling, landing and falling.

The sports listed on the website were selected based on criteria like: activities that promote healthy lifestyles, those that are likely to be offered or supported in schools and community organizations, and those activities that have higher rates of injury.

“Sports and recreation-related injuries… can prevent children and youth from staying active and healthy,” Babul said. “Parents and those involved in sport and recreation can learn about the simple and effective ways they can prevent injury and keep kids moving.”

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