Organized Team Sports

Playing on an organized team is a great way for children and teens to improve their physical well-being, social skills and self-esteem, all while having fun. Sports are great fun but remember to always play safe. 

The Emergency Department at the Montreal Children’s Hospital sees over 2,500 children and teens that have sustained injuries while playing organized sports. More than half of the injuries occur while playing hockey and soccer, followed by football and basketball. The most common injuries include sprains, strains, fractures and concussions.

Important tips to consider when playing:

When playing any team sports, players should follow these general guidelines to prevent injury to themselves or others :

  • Warm up and stretch prior to practice or play. Improved flexibility may help prevent injuries.  
  • Cool down after the game.
  • Wear the appropriate protective equipment for the sport. Make sure it fits properly.
  • Wear a mouth guard for dental protection.
  • Wear the appropriate footwear. 
  • Keep your equipment in good shape. 
  • Practice your skills and use proper techniques. 
  • Learn and practice sports-specific skills under the guidance of the coach. 
Coaches and parents have an important role too. They should make sure that:

Coaches and parents have an important role too. They should make sure that:

  • Skill training by certified instructors is provided
  • Team work is promoted and encouraged
  • All playing surfaces are well maintained 
  • Zero tolerance toward intentional violence is taught and reinforced 
  • Players know and respect the rules of the game at all times 
  • A First Aid kit is available at the playing venue. 
  • Players never play through an injury.
  • Respect the guidelines and activity restrictions prescribed to ensure a full recovery.
  • A gradual return to sports is encouraged to make sure that the player is physically and mentally ready to play. It is also encouraged to avoid re-injury.For more information, go to Returning to sports after an injury.
If your child or teen has sustained a concussion, go to the Concussion page for more information.
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Reviewed by Trauma specialists at the Montreal Children’s Hospital.

Last updated: July 2013, January 2016, June 2018


Phone : 514-412-4400 ext. 23310

Fax : 514-412-4254

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