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Youth Sports Running Safety Tips

  • Sixty percent of a shoe's shock absorption is lost after 250-500 miles of use, so people who run up to 10 miles per week should consider replacing their shoes every nine to 12 months.

  • Excessive clothing can produce sweating, which causes the body to lose heat rapidly and can increase the risk of hypothermia. Instead, dress in layers. The inner layer should be material that takes perspiration away from the skin (polypropylene, thermax); the middle layer (not necessary for legs) should be for insulation and absorbing moisture (cotton); the outer layer should protect against wind and moisture (nylon).

  • To avoid frostbite in cold weather, do not have gaps of bare skin between gloves and jackets, wear a hat, and cover the neck. Petroleum jelly can be used on exposed areas, such as the nose.

  • Do not run at night, but if you run at dusk or dawn, wear reflective material. Don't wear a headset or jewelry while running.

  • Run with a partner. If alone, carry identification, or write your name, phone number, blood type, and medical information on the inside sole of your running shoe.

  • Let others know where you will be running, and stay in familiar areas, away from traffic. Have a whistle or other noisemaker to use in an emergency and carry change in case you need to make a phone call.

  • Whenever possible, run on a clear, smooth, resilient, even, and reasonably soft surface. Avoid running on hills, which increases stress on the ankle and foot. When running on curved surfaces, change directions in forward movement, so that you have even pressure on both feet during the run.


    (For a free Play It Safe Sports brochure, call the Academy's public service telephone number (800) 824-BONES or send a stamped, self-addressed (business size) envelope to Play It Safe Sports, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, P.O. Box 1998, Des Plaines, IL 60017)

    Source: U.S.A. Track and Field Association, Road Runners Club of America and American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine.