As part of back to school time, it’s important to review sports safety. Most important is good hydration. It is generally accepted that all of us here in the high desert are walking around somewhat dehydrated all the time. Please encourage your student athletes to pre-hydrate before all sports practices and games and remind them to take regular hydration breaks. Water is the key. With the exception of excessively high temperature days, sports drinks such as Gatorade or Powerade are rarely needed as these include lots of sugar and salt. Plain water or water with just an ounce or two of sports drink mixed in is best. Adequate pre-sports nutrition is also essential. Many of our student athletes have long and busy school days before their after school practices/games. Please encourage your student to pack a high energy snack (protein bars, granola bars, yogurt, nuts) as opposed to a high sugar (i.e. fast burning) snack such as a candy bar. A reminder on good head protection. Many of us are familiar with the newer understanding of what a concussion really is and the extreme importance of resting the head and brain after any type of head injury. Please ask your student’s coach what they are doing this year to review head protection guidelines with their players. Lastly, a review of minor muscle injury care: Ice, Ice, Ice. And some form of mid pain relief such as Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen. As your student athlete grows in their sports skills it is also essential to teach them sports safety and minor injury care. We are available at Eldorado Family Health for all of your sports participation needs. Same day or next day appointments are available now.