Sports Safety


Every day, 3,400 children sustain a sports injury severe enough to go to the emergency room. Safe Kids Worldwide, with the support of Johnson & Johnson, conducted a survey of parents, coaches and young athletes to explore how the culture of sports may be keeping kids out of the game. The report, “Changing the Culture of Youth Sports” takes an in-depth look at behaviors that may lead to serious injuries.

  • Approximately 42 percent of players reported they have hidden or downplayed an injury during a game so they could keep playing, and 62 percent said they know someone else who has done so. Only 27 percent of coaches reported a player having hidden or downplayed an injury.
  • More than half of athletes reported playing while injured. Reasons given include not wanting to let the team down or not wanting to be benched.
  • More than half of coaches reported being pressured by a parent or player to put an athlete back into a game when a child has been injured.

We can change the culture of sports for our young athletes. Encourage kids to speak up when they are hurt, give them time to recover, and give coaches the tools they need to be effective.


Experts from Stony Brook Sports Medicine, Athletic Training, Trauma Center and Safe Kids are teaming up to offer free sports safety clinics to youth sports organizations throughout Suffolk County. At the request of the coach and/or team administrators, our experts will work with each organization to tailor programs to fit the specific needs of the teams. For convenience, these clinics can be held at the youth organization’s location on evenings and weekends. Our experts will offer the latest updates in sports injury prevention recommendations so we can keep our athletes healthy and active.  Click Here for our informational flyer.

If you are interested in hosting a Sports Safety Clinic for your organization, please complete the form below. For additional questions and information, please contact our Injury Prevention Coordinator, Kristi Ladowski, at 631-444-8385 or

Safe Kids has some strategies for teens, parents and coaches to help keep young athletes safe while playing sports:

Culture-Changing Strategies

  • Set the ground rules at the beginning of the season. Coaches bring together parents and athletes before the season begins to agree on the team’s approach to prevent injuries.
  • Teach athletes ways to prevent injuries. Proper technique, strength training, warm-up exercises and stretching can go a long way to preventing injuries.
  • Prevent overuse injuries. Encourage athletes to take time off from playing only one sport to prevent overuse injuries and give them an opportunity to get stronger and develop skills learned in another sport.
  • Encourage athletes to speak up when they’re injured. Remove injured athletes from play.
  • Put an end to dirty play and rule-breaking. Call fouls that could cause injuries.
  • Get certified. Learn first aid, CPR, AED use and injury prevention skills.

Additional Resources:

Stony Brook "Ask the Expert"

Stony Brook Sports Medicine

CDC Heads Up

American Academy of Pediatrics: Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness

Pre-participation Physical Exam, or PPE

For Coaches and/or Sports Organizations 

If you are interested in scheduling a free Sports Safety Clinic for your sports organizations, please complete the form below and we will contact you shortly.