Basketball is a way of life for millions of American teens. It’s fun to play and great exercise, but basketball is also a contact sport and injuries can happen. Also, because basketball players play year-round, indoors and out, many get repetitive stress injuries like tendonitis.

Kids Health has put together these tips to help our athletes stay as safe as possible.

Safe Basketball Gear

Safety gear for basketball includes:

  • a mouthguard to prevent broken teeth and mouth and tongue injuries (this is required in some leagues)
  • protective eyewear

All basketball players should also wear:

  • basketball sneakers that are supportive and fit well
  • an athletic supporter (for guys)
  • a supportive sports bra (for girls)

Safe Basketball Training

To prevent injuries during training:

  • Be in good shape before starting the season.
  • Always warm up and stretch before practice and games.
  • Stop training if you get hurt or feel pain. Get checked by an athletic trainer, coach, doctor, or nurse before going back to training.
  • Play different sports throughout the year to prevent overuse injuries.

Safe Play

All coaches should emphasize safe, fair play. This includes:

  • knowing the rules of the game
  • making sure the court is in good condition
  • having a first-aid kit available at all practices and games