Spring is just about here, and with spring comes a lot of playing around in the great outdoors. Whether your child plays team sports or just enjoys the spring weather on a bike, skateboard or skates, you can help your child avoid injury from physical activity by following a few safety tips.
Encourage use of protective gear.
Remind your child to wear kneepads, helmets, shin guards, and other protective gear appropriate for the activity. Make sure that your child has the right shoes and equipment for the conditions. If you don’t know what safety gear and equipment your child needs, check with the team coach or with your child’s physical education teacher.
Prepare your child for play.
Prepare your child’s mind by helping him or her understand the rules—safety rules and game play rules—of each new sport or activity. Keep your child’s body type and temperament in mind when choosing new activities. Also, prepare your child’s body with proper nutrition and warm-up exercises. It’s especially important that children remember to drink fluids as they become more active.
Provide adult supervision.
Team sports should be supervised by a coach more concerned with player well-being than with winning. Ideally, at least one adult at practices and games would be able to provide CPR if necessary. For solo activities, your child should know how to get in touch with you or another adult quickly if injured.
Take a break.
Rest periods should be built into any physical activity. If your child does not have time to rest, he or she may develop an injury from muscle overuse.
When Injuries Do Happen
Physical activity can result in acute or overuse injuries. Acute injuries happen suddenly, usually when a child falls or is hit by something. Overuse injuries happen over time. They can often be detected by listening to your child: for example, if your child complains of pain. Overuse injuries can be caused by improper technique, bad equipment, lack of warm-up or rest periods, and even growth spurts!
If your child complains of pain either after a sports accident or in general, you can help him or her get healthy by:
Treating injuries when they occur.
Give first aid attention when an accident occurs—or when your child complains of chronic pain—and follow up with your doctor later. If the injury seems serious, take your child for emergency treatment immediately.
Allowing proper recovery time.
If your child gets back into the same physical activity before a sports injury has fully healed, your child may reinjure the same muscles. This leads to extended recovery time and potentially to chronic pain problems later on. Physical activity is necessary for your child’s health overall.
By treating sports and other physical activities appropriately, you can minimize risk of injury and help them be a fun part of your child’s life!
For more information:
Preventing Children’s Sports Injuries