As the new school year begins, youth sports are starting up again and so too, unfortunately, are the injuries. Every parent wants their child to have fun in their sport without a trip to the E.R. Injuries can range between simple strains, sprains, bruises and cuts to spinal cord injuries. Most fall on the less extreme of this spectrum. So, how can parents prevent these injuries? Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
When you enroll your child in a community or school sport, ensure they have had a pre-season physical. Also, make sure they have a certified athletic trainer/medical personnel that will be attending games or participating in the coaching. Having a medical professional available to determine the seriousness of an injury will make the recovery process and return-to-sport much quicker.
Make sure your child understands how to safely play the game. It seems so minimal but simple review of the rules of the sport will help avoid injury.
Along with the rules, make sure the child wears properly-fitted gear associated with the sports. Ill-fitting helmets in football lead to many injuries.
Make warm-ups and cool-downs an integral part of your child’s routine. Before the game, a good coach will have their players warm up with light cardio and stretching. After a game, don’t allow the child to immediately lie down. Have him or her walk around the field and stretch out to minimize injuries and soreness.
Not that you have to be “coach-parents” at home, but having your child do a few drills outside of practice, such as running for conditioning or performing strengthening exercises will build their overall athleticism and strength to protect them from injuries.
Many athletes are prone to injuries based on the sports they participate in. These injuries can be prevented by performing certain training and conditioning activities that a PT can help them learn. However, following the tips outlined in this blog post will protect your child from an uncomfortable or otherwise painful sports season.