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Tips to avoid injury when playing outdoor sports

Broken bones and concussions are the most common traumatic injuries in outdoor sports. Trauma Services BC has tips to help you avoid injury while you have fun.
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​The most common traumatic injuries from outdoor sports are broken bones and concussions. According to a study completed by the federal government, from 2016-2017 46,000 children aged five to nineteen suffered a concussion.

Injuries occurring while playing sports or participating in recreational activities are causes of moderate-to-severe injury hospitalizations in B.C. While bone breaks are often obvious, concussions can be more difficult to spot. 

Signs of a concussion include: 

  • Headaches
  • Sensation of pressure in the head
  • Dizziness and nausea
  • Sensitivity to light or sound
  • Feeling fogged and having trouble concentrating
  • Feeling more emotional than usual
  • Having trouble sleeping or sleeping significantly more than usual

More serious red flags include: 

  • Neck pain
  • Double vision
  • Loss of consciousness or deteriorating conscious state
  • Seizure or convulsion
  • Other significant health events, such as vomiting more than once, growing restlessness and agitation, weakness or tingling in arms or legs, confusion
Anyone with a suspected concussion should be seen by a doctor quickly. If they start to show any red flag symptoms, call an ambulance immediately.  Read more about concussions and find a full list of symptoms and red flags here.

Tips for staying safe while getting active and playing sports

  • Make sure the terrain you’re using has been well-groomed and is free of hazards like broken glass, sharp objects, stray tree roots, bee hives, etc. Sometimes bumps or holes in grass can be hard to see, especially when you’re focused on other tasks like running or catching.
  • Limit contact in sports like football and soccer.
  • Wear appropriate and properly fitted safety equipment, such as helmets, face shields and/or protective eyewear, mouth guards, knee/elbow/genital pads, shin guards, cleats etc. and add adequate padding to goal posts.
  • Learn proper technique and practice more advanced manoeuvres, like heading a soccer ball or football tackles and blocks before using them in a game situation.
  • In youth soccer, the use of smaller balls is strongly recommended.
  • Encourage respect and fair play.
  • Understand the basics of injury mechanisms and first aid, and carry a first aid kit just in case. 
Have fun and stay safe! Read more safety tips at

October 17 is Trauma Survivors Day, a day to acknowledge survivors of traumatic injury and their families.

Helmets; hospital admissions; Sports; sports injuries; Trauma Services BC
SOURCE: Tips to avoid injury when playing outdoor sports ( )
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