As a parent, you know what it’s like to be cooped up inside with your kids all winter. Once spring rolls around, though, the snow melts on all the baseball, football and basketball courts, and suddenly your kids’ coaches are starting to call about tryouts. Yes, the spring sports season is one of the great times of the year where everyone gets to enjoy a little sun and kids get to have a great time giving it their all.

However, with the new season also comes a new cache of sports injuries that your kids are at risk of every time they suit up. Whether it’s impact-related trauma from a football game, a sprained ankle from rounding third too hard or even a heat exhaustion and dehydration from the weather, the spring knows how to make it tough on your little warriors. But with a little knowledge and a bit of help from CareWell’s urgent care centers, you can keep your kids safe from these two common spring sports injuries.

This is probably the safest spot on the field.This is probably the safest spot on the field.

1. Strains and sprains

One of the most frequent injuries sustained by youth athletes in spring sports is strained or sprained joints. Because the nicer weather forces players out into the great outdoors, just about every spring sport requires players to move their feet at high speeds, whether on grass, cement or dirt playing fields. This places ankles in high-stress situations, such as rounding a base in baseball or kicking a ball in soccer. Even if your little athletes have the best equipment, the best coaches and the highest-quality playing surface conditions – a highly unlikely combination – accidents still happen.

“Strains and sprains are considered non life threatening by ER staff, and it might be hours before you can see a doctor.”

If you think your child has just sprained his or her ankle, it’s important not to panic – emergency rooms might be close by, but these injuries are considered non life threatening by ER staff, and it might be hours before you can see a doctor. Instead, urgent care centers might be your best bet. Not only are many of them open 12 or more hours per day, including weekends, but you can often see a doctor in as little as 15 minutes.

2. Concussions

Spring sports are usually high velocity and high impact. From point guards rushing to the net to pitchers hurling fastballs toward the plate, things move at a different pace during this season. And even though your kids are playing non-contact sports, they’re still at the risk of concussions from unprotected or unnoticed blows to the head, which can happen as easily as running into a teammate.

If you’ve been following sports for the last few years, you already know that concussions are a hot-button issue – and rightly so. If your child exhibits signs of a mild to moderate concussion, such as headache, nausea, drowsiness and balance issues, you should take him or her to the closest urgent care center immediately. However, if loss of consciousness, seizures, repeated vomiting or the intensification of the headache occurs, you should head straight for the hospital.