There are a terrific amount of benefits to children participating in sports. It helps them learn to work with a team, try their best, persevere, and be good winners and, just as importantly, good losers. Kids who participate in sports make friends, are active, and learn a lot of life skills in the process.
But, with any activity, there is always the risk of injury.
However, there are ways to help children avoid sports injuries. Below are some of our best suggestions for preventing injuries.
- Sports exams: Having a physical each season before their sport of choice begins is crucial. Your healthcare provider can ensure there are no underlying medical problems that might create an injury or illness if your child participates in a sport.
- Warm-up exercises: Many injuries can be avoided by stretching properly and warming up appropriately before participating in a game or practice. Light cardio workouts before stretching can head off many potential injuries.
- Appropriate protective gear: By wearing the right safety gear, the risks of sports injuries decrease dramatically. Ensure your child has and wears their helmet, pads, cup, mouthguards, and other protective gear.
- Stay hydrated: Dehydration can lead to many health problems and can cause fatigue, cramps, headaches, and dizziness. Ensure that your child drinks plenty of water before, during, and after their practices and games.
- Offseason training: By participating in active pursuits in the offseason, children maintain their endurance as well as their strength. Engaging in physical activities can reduce the chance of injuries when the sports season begins.
- Rest and recovery: If your child has been injured or has just been working incredibly hard, it is also important to take time to rest and recover between seasons.
- Healthy diet: A healthy diet is important for growing kids. Make sure your children are eating a balanced diet.
- Engage in stress-reducing activities: While sports are a lot of fun, they can also feel like a lot of pressure. Your athlete could benefit from some leisurely pursuits that do not induce stress.
- Overtraining leads to burnout: Training hard seems like the key to success, but most coaches and parents can tell you that overtraining leads to health problems, injuries, and burnout. If your child needs a break or expresses to you that they are fatigued, make sure they get the rest and recovery time needed.
- Watch for symptoms of a concussion: If your child has sustained a head injury, pay close attention to the warning signs and symptoms. Make sure your child sees a doctor if they have headaches, confusion, memory problems, or dizziness after a head injury.
- Proper technique matters: Knowing the right techniques can prevent injuries. If you need help with how to instruct your child on proper techniques, encourage them to ask their coaches.
- Seek medical attention: Pay attention to your child, so you know when to seek medical attention. If your child sustains an injury, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Delaying medical care can aggravate the injury further.
By following the twelve tips above, you can prevent many children’s sports injuries while encouraging them to take their own measures to avoid injury.
Alana Redmond is a legal content writer who works with Elk & Elk Co., Ltd, a local personal injury law firm in Cincinnati that specializes in consumer safety and defective products.