Tips to Decrease the Risk of Childhood Sports Injuries

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( — April 30, 2018) — Kids are prone to injuries when on the sports field. To keep your loved ones competitive and off of the bench, there are a number of steps you can take to prevent sports-related injuries. Taking the time to practice preventative care will decrease the likelihood of having to attend sports injury physio, to aid injuries no matter how much contact is required for their sport.

Wear protective gear

Although cumbersome, in some instances, wearing protective gear is one of the best ways to prevent injuries related to kids’ sports. Taking the time to cover up those parts of the body that are the most vulnerable to injury will ensure that, if they are hit, they won’t be injured (or be injured as badly as they could have).

Since traumatic brain injuries like concussions are one of the most severe sports injuries and one of the injuries that can have a significant impact on the wellbeing of your child, wearing a helmet during high impact sports is recommended. If your child is playing softball, football or skateboarding, biking, hiking or inline skating, wearing a helmet is imperative to the prevention of traumatic brain injury.

To make sure that the helmet is functional, you will want to ensure that it fits properly. Not only is the fit important not to limit visibility for your child, if the helmet is going to work to protect their growing brain, it has to be secure enough to withstand impact.

Other protective tools that can help to prevent injury are mouth-guards, elbow, knee and wrist guards, and a sports cup for boys. Although not often thought of as preventative guard, shoes with cleats are an excellent way to prevent slip and fall injuries when they are running around on the field. Don’t save safety gear for the games–it is just as important in practice, too.

Make sure that they know what their job is

When playing team sports, it is crucial that your child understands how the game is played. Each player should know what the rules are so that they play safety and don’t end up hurting themselves or someone else. They should know about rules related to what type of contact is allowed and other rules of the game to limit the potential that an injury will result from not engaging correctly or engaging in the wrong position.

Warming up and training

Knowing the rules of the game is integral to keeping everyone on the field safe. It is also important to have your little ones train for injury prevention. Different types of sports require specific training. For instance, if there are a lot of lateral movements like you see in soccer and football, then your child should be training the specific muscles involved.

Likewise, if they are playing tennis, you will want to have your child training to increase the musculature of their shoulder. Overall, it is a good idea to have core training to keep their core muscles healthy to reduce sports-related injuries when out on the playing field, regardless of the sport.

It is also important that your child warms up before they hop into any activity. Although they are young, you should always warm up their body before using it in a physical activity. A few laps followed with some stretching is an excellent way to have them ready for the game. Warming up and stretching should be the first step of any athlete whether it is before a real game or before hitting the field for practice.

Never play injured

It is always hard when a young athlete is injured and forced to sit out a game. Even if it is the championship game and your child is the star athlete, you should never allow them to play when injured. If you get them back to playing too soon, you increase the risk for a re-injury. Often, re-injuries are far more serious than the original one, and they can lead to poor prognosis for recovery, not just in the upcoming months, but for the rest of their lives.

To keep your children out on the playing field instead of on the injured bench, it is critical to take preventative steps to have them healthy and strong from the first game of the season to the last. If an injury has occurred, it is important to allow your athlete the proper recovery time. Take all the measures necessary to keep your little athlete safe, competitive and injury free.