10 Ways Sporty Kids Can Stay Safe

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Tips to prevent Sports InjuriesPain. Swelling. Bruising. Even the mildest injuries can throw a wrench into your child’s fun this season. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reports that 3 million kids get injured in sports each year. Most injuries occur as a result of falls, being struck by an object, collisions, and overexertion. So if they will be playing organized or even backyard sports this summer, keep these tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics in mind.

Buy appropriate protective gear and new shoes.
Helmets save lives. According to the AAP, cycling, skateboarding, and skating are responsible for the majority of sports-related head injuries, so protect those noggins! Buy proper mouth guards, protective guards, and shoes (i.e. soccer cleats won’t work for baseball). Shoes from last season are probably worn down and uneven on the bottom and could cause the ankle to twist, so don’t chance it.
 
Before the season begins, get the green light from your doctor on previous injuries.
Sometimes taping the injured area or wearing a supportive ankle brace during games will be recommended to prevent re-injury.
 
Insist on proper REST.
Especially during summer vacation when we all stay up too late. Lots of rest will prepare your kids athletically for the match and will also help them better concentrate and avoid injury on the field.
 
Just say no to backyard sports while barefoot.
Warm weather may be all about barefootin’ it, but sports isn’t! Explain to your kids how it won’t be any fun to be stuck inside with an awkward cast or bandage because they were too busy to tie on shoes.
 
Think safety during practice.
The APP reports that 60 percent of all organized sports-related injuries occur during practice.
 
Make sure the playing fields are safe.
Dips, divots, holes, and uneven surfaces have “sprain” written all over them. Coaches are often busy with players, so parents should walk the field and report any potential issues.
 
Talk to your kids about warm-ups and stretching.
You don’t want them straining those muscles. Light jogging, stretches, and warm-up exercises warm the body’s tissues and keep them flexible. Warming up also clears the mind, aids focus, and mentally prepares them for the game.
 
Confirm that a first-aid kit will be accessible.
Kids and sports are too dangerous a combo to be without one.
 
Water, water, water!
Hydration during practices and games is crucial, so go ahead and be the parent who always has an extra bottle – it’s too important.
 
If you suspect an injury, seek treatment right away.
Time is often of the essence. Even if it appears only to be an ankle sprain, see a doctor to avoid future issues such as instability or arthritis.
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Michelle Ranard is a professional counselor, academic tutor, and freelancer, contributing to parenting magazines.

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