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 Back to Articles Related Articles 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 Achilles Tendonitis If the tendon just above your heel becomes swollen or irritated due to overuse, it can lead to a painful condition called Achilles tendonitis. Find out how to treat it - and prevent it. Read More Dealing With Sports Injuries You practiced hard and made sure you wore protective gear, but you still got hurt. Read this article to find out how to take care of sports injuries - and how to avoid getting them. Read More Dealing With Stress In Sports Winning is all that matters when you play sports, right? Not when that means you can't even enjoy the game. Read about how to handle sports pressure and competition. 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 5 Ways to Prepare for Your Sports Season How can you get ready to play your best season ever? Read these tips for teen athletes. Read More Safety Tips: Snowboarding Snowboarding is a great way to have fun, but it can also present some very real dangers. Follow these safety tips to learn how to stay safe on the slopes. Read More Safety Tips: Skateboarding Skateboarding is undeniably cool, but it's also easy to get hurt. Keep it safe while skateboarding with these safety tips. Read More Safety Tips: Skiing There's a lot to love about skiing, but it can also present some very real dangers. Follow these tips to stay safe on the slopes. 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: 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. 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.