While sports can be a healthy way for kids to burn off energy and build their muscles, attendant risks are associated with sports participation. Much to the chagrin of many moms, you can’t fully protect your sports player from injury. You’ll cringe every time they step foot on a football field, baseball diamond or basketball court. However, you can help your athletic kid prevent injury (and calm your nerves a bit) with some common-sense safeguards.
Your child’s risks of sustaining an injury may be reduced by taking time to ensure that your child is in shape before the season begins. In many cases, a physical is required before your child can participate in a sport, but even if it isn’t taking your child for a pre-season check up is a good idea. At this doctor’s visit, tell the doctor what sport your child will soon be participating in, and ask him to determine if there is anything in particular your child should do given his physical condition.
Getting in Shape
As the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases reports, conditioning is vital to preventing injuries. By completing conditioning activities, your child can build his muscular strength and prepare to participate in his sport of choice. If your child is playing an organized sport, the coach will likely guide the participants through these conditioning exercises. If you are serving dual duty as both mom and coach, guide your child through conditioning exercises yourself.
Organized Sports Options
Enrolling your child in an organized sporting activity may keep your child safer while at play, reports the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Children who are enrolled in organized sports benefit from the guidance of a trained coach who is wise in the ways of preventing injury in his sport of choice, and will train your child in these proper practices. Also, these coaches are commonly trained in first aid ensuring that, should your child sustain an injury, someone is there to help immediately.
Protection With Padding
In many sports, participants are required to wear padding as a means of injury prevention. These pads are specifically designed to protect the areas most prone to injury in that particular sport. You can help ensure that pads can do their jobs by buying your child the appropriate padding in the right size and helping him suit up before each game. If your child regularly participates in neighborhood sports, encourage him to wear his padding for these informal activities as well.
Safety While Playing
Because injuries occur while children are engaged in play, the best way to prevent them is to teach your kids preventive measures they can take on the field. Encourage your child to drink water regularly, as this keeps his body hydrated and helps his muscles function properly, making him less prone to injury. Remind your child that no one else can see what he is feeling, and that he needs to listen to his body and tell someone if he has sustained an injury or feels ill while at play. Stress the fact that informing an adult of his discomfort is vital to ensuring that he doesn’t sustain a sports injury or increase the severity of one that he has already suffered.