As a parent, you want your child to participate in and enjoy sports. You also want your child to be safe during extracurricular activities. With popular sports getting ready to start up in the fall, such as football, baseball, softball, and soccer, KidsHealth has tips on how you as a parent can help prevent sports injuries.
Sports Equipment and Surfaces
A key to keeping your child safe this fall is to know the proper sports equipment they need. Equipment should be the proper size for your child. In sports like football, softball, and baseball they should wear helmets. When riding a bike, scooter, or skateboarding they should be wearing a helmet as well. If your child will be playing field and racquet sports, KidsHealth recommends that your child wears shatterproof glass eyewear.
Helmets and protective gear should be approved by the organizations that oversee the sport. Bike helmets should have an approval sticker from the Consumer Product Safety Commission. If you have questions about what protective gear your child should wear, ask their coach.
The surfaces your child plays on are important too. Fields should not have holes or ruts. If your child is playing a sport that requires running, they should be on tracks or wooden courts.
Your child’s coach and the adults supervising should be appropriately trained. The coach should be first aid and CPR certified. Their mindset should not be a win-at-all-costs mindset, one that could teach children to play through injury or that they should place themself in harm’s way if they can win. Instead, the coach should be committed to the well-being of the children on their team.
It is also important to choose leagues that share your values of keeping children safe.
As a parent, you should prepare your child for the sport they will be playing. Educate them on the rules of the game and how to stay safe. Make sure that they bring enough water to drink at practice as well. Both of these will ensure that your child is having fun while staying safe.
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Knowing Common Sports Injuries
Here are some common sports injuries for you as a parent to know. First, acute injuries are injuries where kids are hit by a ball, run into another player, or fall. These can be minor, like a bruise, or something serious, like a broken bone. Overuse, or repetitive stress, injuries are injuries that occur when the same injury happens repetitively. These can lead to bone growth problems and often occur in knees, elbows, feet, or shoulders. Finally, children can have reinjuries. These happen when your child returns to the sport before they are fully healed.
Many injuries can be avoided if proper equipment is used and you follow a doctor’s advice.
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