Playing sports offers kids tremendous social, emotional and physical benefits and being on the sidelines with an injury isn’t any fun. That’s why it’s important to take the following safety measures to help prevent injuries so kids can continue to play the sports they love.
· Before playing organized sports make sure your child gets a pre-participation physical exam from their pediatrician. Provide your coaches with important phone numbers, allergy information and doctor information in case of an emergency. Also, be sure to inform your coaches of your child’s history with asthma or other medical conditions that require special attention.
· To help release muscle tension and prevent sports-related injuries your child will want to warm up and stretch before games and practices.
· Keep your child well hydrated, drinking plenty of water before, during and after practices and the game. Drink fluids 30 minutes before the game or practice and every 15-20 minutes during activity.
· Another step to take to prevent or reduce the severity of injuries is to wear appropriate and properly fitted sports gear such as helmets, shin guards, mouth guards, ankle braces, shoes with rubber cleats and sunscreen at practices and games.
· If your child plays contact sports like football or hockey, you’ll want to know the signs and symptoms of concussions. If you suspect your child has a concussion, have them evaluated and cleared by a medical professional as quickly as possible.
· It’s also important to rest and take breaks often during practices and games. Encourage your child to speak up if they experience any pain, injury or illness during practices or games. Regardless of what sport your child plays, they should take one or two days off from the sport each week.
· If you plan coach, it’s a good idea to get certified in first aid and CPR, create water breaks, facilitate proper warm ups and get free sports safety training at a Safe Kids Sports Safety Clinic.