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 happen. Also, because basketball players play year-round, indoors and out, many get repetitive stress injuries like tendonitis.

To stay as safe as possible, 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:

  • 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
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Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2020 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.

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