Every year, hundreds of children and teens play on an organized basketball team. The Montreal Children’s Hospital Trauma Centre's emergency department sees over 450 basketball-related injuries per year.
The majority of injuries sustained by teenagers are ankle sprains, followed by knee and wrist injuries. Most injuries are caused by a player’s sudden acceleration, deceleration, pivoting or explosive movement.
Consider these important tips to play smart and safe basketball!
EQUIPMENT USE AND SAFE ENVIRONMENT
- Wear properly fitting shoes appropriate for the playing surface, to avoid foot discomfort and injury. High top shoes are recommended, running shoes are adequate. Don’t wear sandals or flip flops.
- A properly fitted mouth guard protects your gums and teeth.
- Check the court before practices and games. Make sure that indoor and outdoors courts are regularly maintained and that they are free of hazardous objects.
- Keep first aid equipment nearby at all times. For more information about emergency preparedness visit the St. John Ambulance web page.
- Work to improve your fitness. Injuries often occur due to poor conditioning.
- Warm-up and stretch before a practice or a game. Improved flexibility may help prevent injuries.
- Cool down after a practice or game.
- Practice your skills and use proper techniques. This helps you be a quicker and better player.
- Listen to your coach’s safety recommendations to avoid being injured and to avoid causing an injury to another player.
- Stay alert. Stay sharp. Stay focused.
- Demonstrate a positive attitude and work together as a team.
- Know and respect the rules at all times.
- Respect the sport, yourself, teammates, opponents and officials.
Coaches, officials and parents
- Encourage and promote team work. Set a positive example.
- There should be zero tolerance towards intentional violence.
- Coaches should be certified and officials should be qualified to teach players about dangerous situations.
- Rules must always be enforced.
DON'T PLAY INJURED
Pay attention to early signs of injury.
- Never play through an injury.
- Seek medical attention immediately when an injury is suspected.
- Respect the recommendations and activity restrictions prescribed to ensure a full recovery.
- Return to basketball only once fully recovered. Your return to play should be gradual to make sure you are physically and mentally ready to play and to avoid re-injury.
Last updated: July 2013, October 2015