Sports Safety—Playing it Safe Participation in team and individual sports provides an invaluable way for kids to exercise, have fun with their friends, and learn the value of commitment, discipline and teamwork. However, children are injured daily during their participation in sports due to overly rough play, inappropriate gear, or lack of understanding of the game. No matter what sport(s) your child chooses to play, he or she will get the most out of it if they play it safe. Safety Tips Wear protective gear specific to the sport, including helmets, pads and eye protection. Wear the proper–and proper-fitting–footwear. Warm up for 15-30 minutes, including slow, gradual stretching. This prepares the body's muscles for action. Practice regularly to build up strength and skill, which in turn provides greater safety. Know the rules of the game and practice good sportsmanship. Don't play with an injury. Playing with an injury can make the injury worse, and actually keep a player out of the game for a longer period of time. Know the safety guidelines specific to your sport.