Basketball is a way of life for millions of American kids and teens. It's fun to play and great exercise, but basketball is also a contact sport, and injuries happen. Also, because basketball players play year-round, indoors and out, many get repetitive stress injuries like tendonitis. To keep your kids as safe as possible, make sure they follow these tips. 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, players should: Be in good shape before starting the season. Always warm up and stretch before practice and games. Stop training if they get hurt or feel pain and 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 Back to Articles Related Articles Competitive Sports: Helping Kids Play it Cool Sometimes the pressure to succeed on the field or in the court can be overwhelming. Learn what you can do to help your child keeps things in perspective. Read More Safety Tips: Basketball It's fun to play and great exercise, but basketball is also a contact sport, and injuries happen. To stay safe on the basketball court, follow these safety tips. Read More Sports Medicine Center Get tips on everything from finding the best sport for your kids to preventing and handling injuries. Read More Sportsmanship One of the most important goals of kids' sports is helping children develop a sense of good sportsmanship. Here's how to set a good example for your kids. Read More Jumper's Knee Jumper's knee is an overuse injury that happens when frequent jumping, running, and changing direction damages the patellar tendon. Read More How to Compete in Sports Sometimes sports competition can make kids feel pressure. If it's too much, a kid might not have as much fun as before. Find out what to do if this happens to you. Read More Safety Tips: Hockey As fun as it is, ice hockey carries a very real risk of injury. To keep your kids as safe as possible, follow these tips. Read More Overuse Injuries Overuse (or repetitive stress) injuries happen when too much stress is placed on a part of the body, causing problems like swelling, pain, muscle strain, and tissue damage. Read More Sports and Exercise Safety Playing hard doesn't have to mean getting hurt. The best way to ensure a long and injury-free athletic career is to play it safe from the start. Find out how. Read More Safety Tips: Sledding Sledding is a lot of fun, but can also cause injuries, some of them pretty serious. To keep yourself safe while sledding, follow these safety tips. Read More Safety Tips: Sledding Sledding is a lot of fun, but can also cause injuries, some of them pretty serious. To keep your kids safe while sledding, make sure they follow these safety tips. Read More Preventing Children's Sports Injuries Participation in sports can teach kids sportsmanship and discipline. But sports also carry the potential for injury. Here's how to protect your kids. Read More Feeding Your Child Athlete All kids need to eat balanced meals and have a healthy diet. But should that balance change for kids who play on a sports team or work out? Read More Five Ways to Avoid Sports Injuries Sports injuries often can be prevented. Find out how in this article for kids. Read More Knee Injuries Knee injuries are common among young athletes. Learn about causes, treatments, and prevention. Read More Safety Tips: Baseball Baseball is by no means a dangerous sport. But it can present a very real risk of injuries from things like wild pitches, batted balls, and collisions in the field. These safety tips can help keep your kids safe on the diamond. Read More Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2021 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.