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School sports are kicking - and hitting, swinging and running - back into gear. With it comes the potential for injuries.
Information from the Center for Disease Control said 3.5 million people receive treatment for a sports injury each year. It said more than half are preventable.
Concussions have been at the forefront of concerns for student-athletes. Dr. Andrew Porter, associate director of the Via Christi sports medicine fellowship, said health professional continue to learn more about them.
"We're getting better at understanding what a concussion is and how best to treat it," Porter said. "Basically, a concussion is where you have an injury to your brain, whether it's by a direct blow to your head of a blow to a different part of your body, or some type of forceful rotation to your head where it causes an injury to the brain."
Porter said athlete equipment is improving, but athletes still have to do their part.
"The sooner that the coach, the athletic trainer, the physician that's taking care of the team knows about the concussion and is able to start treatment, the sooner that athlete is going to return to play," Porter said.
Heat illness is also preventable, Porter said. He recommends athletes drink 16 ounces of fluid two hours before a game or practice, eight ounces every 20-30 minutes during the event and 16 ounces for every pound of weight lost during a game.
Drinks such as Gatorade or Powerade are good at replacing electrolytes, Porter said.
"One other way that I like to tell athletes, in particular, to replace their potassium and to build up their potassium maybe before the practice or game is to eat bananas," Porter said. "Maybe a couple bananas throughout the day and then a couple bananas after the practice or game."
He added that good nutrition and sleep will help athletes stay healthy and perform better.
Porter discussed sports injury prevention on KFDI's "At Issue" program with John Wright. A copy of the podcast can be found here.