Do you have children who play sports? Do you play sports yourself? Well, I’m sure you’ve heard horror stories about children and teens injuring themselves, or worse, while playing sports. It’s not a good situation to be in. As a parent to a child athlete, it’s your job to ensure that you understand the signs of injury and understand how to prevent them from happening in the first place.
According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Injuries from organized and unorganized sports account for 775,000 emergency room visits annually for children aged 5-14 years old. Sports-related injuries are the leading cause of emergency room visits in 12-17-year-olds.” These numbers are too high for our liking.
With that being said, we’ve compiled a list of ways to prevent/recognize these unfortunate injuries.
Sometimes coaches can push children beyond their limits. Believe it or not, grabbing some water or a sports drink may be the last thing on their mind when they’re training. It’s important to tell your children about the importance of drinking at least 16 ounces of water one hour before practice and another 4-8 ounces of water 20 minutes into practice.
Injuries are more likely to happen if you fail to stretch before practice or a game. The objective of a warm-up is to prepare the body for vigorous activity. If you skip this step, you can easily pull or strain a muscle.
Building healthy bones and muscles are crucial for all athletes. Besides, childhood and young adulthood are the bone-building years. Not only does building strong bones help protect against fragile bone diseases, it also helps prevent injury by helping your bones become strong and not so fragile.
Visit the Doctor
It’s best to pay your pediatrician a visit for physical exams (at least once a year), and to talk about sports activities your young one is going to engage in. Pediatricians can offer good tips and direction on staying safe and healthy.
Plenty of Rest
Who doesn’t love a nice rest period after working hard? Professional athletes and entertainers need rest periods just the same as kid athletes. Without rest, your performance will be poor, injuries are more prone to happen, and burn out will be waiting for you around the corner.
Don’t Ignore Pain
Many people tend to ignore minor pain that their children may be experiencing. They simply brush it off as minor soreness. However, discomfort and pain are two different experiences. If your child feels pain, let them know to tell their coach immediately instead of trying to fight through it on the field. Playing through an injury can have long negative affects that can lead to more injury down the road.
Be Cautious During Practices, Too
Many professional athletes are injured before the season even starts. These injuries occur at practices. Be sure that your younger one understands that practice isn’t a “safe zone” and that they should be even more careful during practices as well.
Understand Signs of Concussion
Concussions happen more often than you would think in sports. Football is a sport known to induce the most concussions amongst players. Of course, this can occur in any sport. But, its best to pay extra attention to your children who play Football specifically. The symptoms of a concussion can mimic other problems, like most injuries and sicknesses. But, the following are common signs of a concussion:
- Blurry Vision
- Poor Balance
- Slow Speech
Even if you don’t notice symptoms of a concussion, if your child falls or gets hit, you should keep a close eye on them. According to Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, you should rush your child to the emergency room if they experience sever neck pain, horrible headache that won’t go away, vomiting, or disorientation.
We love our children and our number one priority is to keep them safe. The above-mentioned tips can also be applied to adult athletes as well. Enjoy the competitive world of sports even more by knowing that you’re safe!