NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — Play ball—but not before warming up to some safety tips.
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital plans to host a sports safety clinic called “Play Safer, Smarter, Stronger, Faster” for youth athletes on June 4 at the Somerset Patriot’s TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater.
The New Brunswick-based hospital aims to teach children how to take the field safely and intelligently. It’s crucial now more than ever, hospital officials said, because more kids play organized sports on school, recreation or travel teams than before—and they tend to start at a younger age.
“It’s great that kids are more active, but with that we’re also seeing more concussions, acute injuries and overuse injuries—issues like strains and sprains and shin splints,” said Diana Starace, injury prevention coordinator for Robert Wood Johnson and Safe Kids Middlesex County.
The clinic includes “interactive stations” focused on teaching kids how to warm up for physical activity, the prevention and recognition of concussions, nutrition and staying hydrated and more.
“We want to reach these youth athletes before they develop bad habits, like not eating properly before a game or relying only on sports drinks to keep hydrated, and teach them proper preparation and play habits,” Starace said.
Children in grades one through six and their parents and coaches are invited to participate in the lesson. It’s scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. in the ballpark.
The clinic is free but requires entrance to the Patriots game. To buy discounted tickets and register for the event, use the code RWJBSSC in the group portal login here.