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.

Preteens tend to sustain injuries to their arms and hands due to underdeveloped motor skills and technique.

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!


  • 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.


Everyone’s role is key in encouraging sportsmanship and ensuring that a fun and positive experience is had by all.


  • 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.


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. Returning to sports after an injury
If your child or teen has sustained a concussion, go to the MCH Concussion Kit  for more information.
Reviewed by Trauma specialists at the Montreal Children’s Hospital.
Last updated: July 2013, October 2015


Phone : 514-412-4400 ext. 23310

Fax : 514-412-4254

514-412-4499, Emergency Department (for patient transfer) / 514-412-4399 (fax)