Play It Safe This Fall

by Nurse Rose Melendez | WGTS 91.9 FM

For many parents, fall means bundling up to watch their kids play football, soccer and other team sports. While your kids want to win the big game, the most important priority is their safety. Nurse Rose Melendez, RN, shares her advice to help parents prevent sports injuries in their kids.

How often to kids get hurt playing sports or other activities?

Nurse Rose: Each year, about 3 million children and teens are treated in the emergency department for sports and recreational-related injuries.

What types of injuries do you see most often?

Nurse Rose: Being an emergency nurse, I’ve seen all types of injuries. These are some of the most common sports injuries:

  • Sprains and strains
  • Growth plate injuries
  • Repetitive motion injuries
  • Heat-related illness

Can you prevent your child from getting hurt?

Nurse Rose: While we’d all love to prevent our children from ever feeling pain, we can’t prevent every boo boo. However, there are some easy ways to give your kids the safe advantage:

  • Ensure your kid has the proper protective gear
  • Make sure your child has plenty of water before and after sports
  • Make warming up and cooling down a regular practice to avoid sprains and strains

What can parents do if their child is injured?

Nurse Rose: If your child is injured during sports, use the R.I.C.E acronym to help remember the proper way to respond.

  • Rest: Do not use the injured area until evaluated by a physician.
  • Ice: Apply ice to the injured area 15-20 minutes at a time for the first 48-72 hours after injury.
  • Compression: Apply an elastic wrap/compression sock below the injured area and wrap upwards to reduce swelling.
  • Elevate: Prop the injured area high


Rose Melendez, RN

Rose Melendez, RN

Head of Emergency Department

Rose Melendez, RN is the head of the Emergency Department and Nursing Administration at Adventist HealthCare Washington Adventist Hospital. Tune into WGTS 91.9 FM every Wednesday at 7:40 a.m. to listen to Nurse Rose live on the radio.

Need medical care fast? Adventist HealthCare has you covered with three Emergency Departments and three Urgent Care Centers in Montgomery and Prince George’s County.