HOW TO PROTECT YOUR CHILD FROM SPORTS RELATED PERSONAL INJURIES
School sports are great avenues for teaching kids fitness, nutrition, teamwork, and leadership. While sports are fun for both the children playing and the parents watching, there is always the risk of your child suffering a personal injury. According to the Orthopaedic Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Center, almost any type of personal injury can be sustained when playing sports. Some of the most common sports injuries include head injuries, broken bones, torn ligaments or tendons, and shoulder injuries.
According to KidsHealth.org, the best way of avoiding sports injuries is through prevention. Since sudden and unexpected accidents cause many injuries, prevention may seem unrealistic. As a parent, educating yourself on the types of injuries and accidents that occur during sports is a great start. With some knowledge, awareness, and communication, there are many ways to help your child avoid injuries during practice or games! Both Spear Greenfield and the Philadelphia Youth Basketball care about child health and safety, so below are some important tips to prevent sports related personal injury.
1. WEAR PROTECTIVE GEAR.
As seen in football, baseball, softball, hockey, and biking, helmets are the most common protective gear. Due to the provided head protection, a helmet’s importance needs to be constantly communicated to your children. In order to properly protect your child, a helmet needs to fit properly, meaning it needs to be strapped correctly with a snug but comfortable fit.
Other protective gear based on the sport your child plays include mouth guards, elbow pads, knee guards, a protective cup, and proper footwear. Discussing the importance of this protective gear with your child’s coach is a solid starting point to ensure your child’s safety during games or practice. Prior to playing or practicing sports, coaches and parents should regularly remind children of the importance of wearing the necessary protective gear.
2. WARM UP.
Jumping straight into a sport or any activity is never a good idea and can lead to injury. Having the kids loosen up with a light jog and stretching muscles prior to playing will help avoid injuries such as pulled muscles. Ensure the coach preaches and practices good warm-up and stretching habits with your kids prior to any sport related activity.
3. KNOW THE RULES OF THE SPORT.
Understanding the rules of a sport, especially legal versus illegal actions, will decrease the chance of your child suffering an injury. According to KidsHealth.org, fewer injuries occur when your child and the other players know what to expect from each other.
Another way to keep your child safe is ensuring they learn and understand their team’s plays, most importantly their role in each play. If your child is where they are expected to be, it will help them avoid any dangerous situations, like on-field collisions. This is also important for your child’s coach to focus on in practice.
4. BE ALERT AND COMMUNICATE.
When playing a sport, there are instances where a lot of activity is happening at once. This is especially true in fast-paced sports where more kids are running, such as football or basketball. Make sure your child is always alert when at a sporting event or practice. Collisions and accidents can happen quickly, and your child can avoid that situation by paying attention to their surroundings. Good communication in those instances can also increase safety. In baseball or basketball, two kids communicating properly can reduce collisions. Ensure the coach is teaching your child about both alertness and communication.
5. INCREASE PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT
It is important for you to be involved with your child’s sports program. This involvement includes knowing the coaches, watching practices, and asking your child about practices. As a parent, ensure your child is starting activity with proper warms-ups, being pushed at a reasonable pace, and receiving proper breaks to hydrate.
The tips above will decrease the chance of your child suffering a sports related personal injury. As a parent, make sure you are constantly communicating with both your child and the coach of the sport. Proper communication ensures there is consistent messaging presented to your child concerning sports safety. With knowledge, awareness, and communication, your children will have fun and be safe playing their favorite sports!