(WYTV) — More than half of children in this country ages 6 to 17 play sports. But with play can come injuries, so how can parents reduce the risk their child is going to get hurt?

These injuries, the strains, the fractures, can happen to any young athlete. Reducing the risk starts with an annual physical to make sure children can play. When it’s time to play, your child should warm up muscles by stretching and, if necessary, use protective equipment.

“It’s important to try out your equipment before you get into game time situations to make sure it works properly, so that it’s actually protecting you when you’re going out there to perform the sport,” said Dr. Wes Troyer, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at Mayo Clinic.

Try to avoid overusing certain muscles over others because repeated motions happen around what we call growth plates in the body and the young athlete may need time to rest.
Too much stress on one body part and it may take a long time to heal.

If your child is injured playing a sport, keep them out of competition until a doctor can check them. The worst thing that you can do is get up and try to play through these things and make the injuries worse.