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Get Back Into the Game for Fall

Start on the right foot

About four to six weeks before the season starts is the perfect time to have a preparticipation physical examination (PPPE). “A PPPE can help detect any condition that may limit participation or predispose an athlete to injury. It also allows time for further evaluation and treatment,” says primary care sports medicine physician Richard Canlas, MD, with LVPG Orthopedics and Sports Medicine–Health & Wellness Center in Hazleton.

Kids and adolescents are at risk for growth-plate fractures. These are areas of growing cartilage at the ends of long bones. For girls, growth plates usually close around ages 13 to 15, while boys’ growth plates close later, about ages 15 to 17.

Treatment involves resting and not bearing weight on the affected limb or limbs. “Often this means wearing a cast, splint or brace to prevent movement,” Canlas says. “Most growth plate injuries are successfully treated without long-term complications.”

Time training right

Conditioning should begin eight to 12 weeks prior to the new season, says Michael Cerimele, a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) with LVHN Sports Academy. He recommends finding a reputable strength and conditioning program that includes:

  • Sports-specific conditioning efforts customized to boost your child’s speed, strength and agility

  • Certified and degreed coaches

  • Adequate rest and recovery

"Your child should also have two days off from training a week and get at least eight hours of sleep a night," says Cerimele.

Sprain vs. Strain

Sprain: Stretching or tearing of ligaments

Strain: Stretching or tearing of muscles/tendons

Initial treatment for both: RICE – rest, ice, compress, elevate

Encourage healthy habits

Licensed certified athletic trainer Jamie Scalise, with LVHN Athletic Training Services, shares insights about training, eating and hydrating in the summer.

Eat right

Skip sugary snacks, eat complete meals.

  • Low-starch vegetables: lettuce, broccoli, cucumbers

  • Healthy starches: potatoes, rice Proteins: lean meats, poultry, fish

  • Fruit: whole fruit instead of juice

Beat the heat

Train earlier or later in the day when temperatures and humidity are lower.


Frequent fluid breaks prevent dehydration and heat-related illnesses.

  • 16 ounces of water or sports drink with electrolytes every 20-30 minutes during activity

  • 20-24 ounces afterward for every pound lost during exercise