PHK Offers Tips to Avoid Youth Sports Injuries

KAUFMAN, Texas — With youth baseball season getting underway, many area youth are experiencing the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat, and for some, the agony of injury. According to the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation (NYSSF), approximately 5 million children head to emergency rooms for sports-related injuries each year.

"There are simple ways young athletes can avoid many common injuries," said Richard Vandiver, M.D., orthopedist on the medical staff at Presbyterian Hospital of Kaufman. "Warming up, staying hydrated, maintaining exercise programs year-round, getting a regular physical and learning and practicing proper techniques may go a long way toward preventing injuries from occurring."

Physicians on the medical staff at Presbyterian Hospital of Kaufman have the ability to handle many sports-related injuries, according to Vandiver. The hospital offers a 24-hour emergency department, and with the hospital’s new, advanced CT scanner, which allows physicians on the medical staff to view injuries in 3-D, diagnoses may be made faster than in the past.

Vandiver takes his commitment to Presbyterian Hospital of Kaufman’s mission of improving the health of the people in the communities it serves beyond the hospital walls. He is the team physician at Kaufman and Mabank high schools.

"I have a special interest in working with adolescents and know it comforts both the athletes and their parents to know that someone is looking after their well-being," he said. "It’s very satisfying to watch student athletes get back on the field after an injury and to teach them ways to avoid injury. I love getting to know young athletes and am glad to be able to use my knowledge to help them on the field or the court."

The NYSSF recommends that parents ask the following questions to address key safety issues in youth sports:

  • Is there a first-aid box and ice at the site of all practices and games?
  • Does the coach have the youngsters do warm-ups, stretching and cool down exercises?
  • Does the coach hand out a conditioning program before signups, so the children know before they go out for a team what is to be expected of them physically?
  • Are pre-participation physical exams required for sports activities?
  • Are the facilities checked for safety on a regular basis?
  • Is safety equipment available or required? If yes: Does it fit properly? Does it meet national standards?

Presbyterian Hospital of Kaufman, a 91-bed hospital, is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). The hospital offers the communities it serves quality health care services including: Inpatient Medical and Surgical Services with Intensive Care Unit; 24-hour Emergency Department; Outpatient Surgery; Women’s Services including maternity services; Rehabilitation Services; Imaging and Diagnostic Services including mammography; CT Scan; MRI; Nuclear Medicine and bone densitometry; stress testing; Cardiac Rehabilitation; and Wound Care. The hospital is a member hospital of Texas Health Resources, which is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit healthcare systems in the United States. The system serves more than 5.4 million people living in 29 counties in north central Texas.