Having your kids play some type of organized sport is a great way to encourage exercise, plus there is the added benefit of teamwork and camaraderie. However, about 3.5 million kids are getting sports injuries every year. Thankfully, there are steps you can take at home to help reduce this risk for your child.
- Wear the proper gear. Make sure your child has the appropriate protective equipment for their particular sport. This may include pads, helmets, mouthpieces, face guards, protective cups, and eyewear.
- Increase flexibility. Stretching exercises before and after games can help increase flexibility of muscles and tendons used in play.
- Strengthen muscles. Conditioning exercises during practice and before games can help strengthen muscles used in play.
- Use the proper technique for the particular sport throughout the season of play. Learn and follow safety rules and suggestions for your child’s particular sport.
- Take breaks. Rest periods are important both during practice and games to reduce the risk of overuse injuries. During the year, a 2-month break from a specific sport is recommended to prevent overuse injuries.
- Play safe. There should be strict rules against headfirst sliding, spearing and body checking to prevent head and spine injuries.
- Stop the workout if there is pain. Your kid should avoid playing if they are very tired or in pain. Reduce or stop using the injured area for at least 48 hours.
- Prevent heat injury or illness. Encourage kids to drink plenty of water, and make sure your child is properly hydrated.
As parents, you cannot fully eliminate injuries, but by following the tips above, you can ensure a safer environment for your child and prevent injuries.
Our focus is educating our patients and the community in the prevention of sports injuries. Learn more about our Sport Medicine services.