Hudson Valley Parent

HVP September 2015

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Page 22 of 39 ■ Hudson Valley Parent 23 Sports safety for girls Growing evidence points to the need for special safety precautions for female athletes, particularly those participating in high-intensity contact sports like basketball and soccer. "There's good evidence that girls have two to three times the risk of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries and a greater risk of knee injuries in general," says Lyle J. Micheli, M.D., director of sports medicine at Boston Chil- dren's Hospital. Marci Goolsby, M.D., assis- tant sports medicine physician at New York City's Hospital for Special Surgery, advises girls to lift weights for strength, balance, and injury protection. As with all athletes and all sports, proper technique, experienced coaching, and skilled supervision are criti- cal to safety. Nutrition is particularly im- portant to pre-teen and teen girls who play sports. A girl who has reached puberty but isn't getting a period may have an energy imbalance; she needs more calo- ries to make up for energy spent during practice and games. Added calories should be nutrient-dense. Chips and soda don't cut it, says Goolsby. If girl athletes don't get enough calci- um, their risk of stress fractures increases, so aim for 800 milli- grams of calcium per day for kids ages 4-8 and 1,300 milligrams per day for ages 9-18.

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