Coaches and parents of Franklin Township Little Leaguers know more about reducing injuries that occur in youth sports.
Carbon County Safe Kids and Franklin Township Athletic Association held Youth Sports Safety Clinics at Phifer's Ice Dam and Christman's fields. As a combined effort with Health Works athletic trainers and Brain STEP team members armed coaches, parents and league organizers with all sorts of information.
During the training, coaches and parents heard about concussion prevention, recognition and response, proper hydration habits and overuse injury prevention methods.
The Carbon County Safe Kids Youth Sports Safety Clinic was part of a national education campaign sponsored by Safe Kids USA and supported by Johnson & Johnson. The campaign focused on four areas which are critical to keeping young athletes healthy and injury-free: preventing acute and overuse injuries; proper hydration before, during and after play; an annual preparticipation physical evaluation before play; and concussion awareness, prevention, and screening methods.
"We received a grant and we wanted to get the message out and since we are in baseball season that is where we started, " said Mindy Graver, Safe Kids coordinator. "The information we presented also applies to swimming, basketball, soccer, tennis, or any other sport injuries."
Graver said that children ages 5 to 14 account for nearly 40 percent of all sports-related injuries treated in hospital emergency departments. She said Safe Kids goal is to reach coaches and parents through these clinics and equip them with the critical information and resources to keep kids out of the emergency room."
Graver said that as an incentive to have the 46 coaches receive the information, Safe Kids presented each coach with a first aid kit and a folder filled with all sort of information to be available during medical emergencies.
Graver said that every parent hopes their child will enjoy playing and get health benefits from sports, along with the sense of pride and accomplishments that comes with being part of a team.
"Some kids put to hard and lose sight of what is important," she said.
Assisting at the seminar were Tim Kocher of B.M.H.S. Health Works, Donna Grather, pediatric trauma nurse at Lehigh Valley Hospital Ann Wells, occupational therapist at Carbon Lehigh Intermediate 21.
Wells said that she is also the parent of a child with brain injuries, so she feels that as being part of the team, she understands the concerns of parents as well as educators.
"There is definitely a need for this information," said Wells.