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ERs and urgent care facilities see all sorts of sports-related injuries, not only in the summer, but year-round. Seattle Children's is taking a different approach by preventing injuries before they happen.

Helmets, check. That's what you'd expect before practice starts. But,wait. What exactly are those Derby Brats up to now?

Bending their knees touching their toes and still skating - that all focuses on helping them keep that balance and help them increase their flexibility, said Tara Peerenboom, Seattle Children's athletic trainer.

A huge part of this is prevention, said program manager Philip Heywood. You can t say enough about prevention.

Especially for these skaters, who range in age from 8 to 17 and in skill level from beginner to full-contact player.

They were seeing ACL injuries and concussions were happening, so they asked if we would come in and provide some type of preventative training for these girls so that we could hopefully eliminate some of these ACL injuries, said Heywood.

So Seattle Children's althletic trainers developed a special exercise program. Heywood says it only makes sense to do duplicate rink conditions.

We had them practicing things in their skates, which is very different, said Heywood. We put them in their skates beause we wanted them to be able to do what they were doing as they would during practice or a game time situation.

But there's one thing they don't like to do.

They do not like to sit out but they re learning that sometimes things are important enough that you need to take a break, said Peerenboom.

Lessons important to staying healthy. Lessons important for life.

These girls look out for each other, said Peerenboom. They become like a family out here on the rink. And those are values that you, you know, keep forever.

Seattle Childrens also provides athletic trainers to local high schools for a variety of sports.

Related links:

Seattle Children's Athletic Trainers Program

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