How To Reduce The Risks Of Sporting Injuries In Kids
Many children like to play sports, and it’s quite common for kids and teens of varying ages to join up with school sports teams or get involved with extra-curricular clubs dedicated to games like football, hockey, soccer, and so on.
In fact, statistics show that more than 56% of US children participate in youth sports of some kind, and these activities can be a super way for kids to make friends, develop new skills, stay fit, and spend their free time in a productive and enjoyable way.
Unfortunately, sports aren’t without their risks. Many kids can get injured playing all kinds of games, from tennis to basketball, and it’s important for parents, guardians, teachers, and referees of child sporting events to be aware of the risks and do what they can to keep kids safe.
More than a million children go to the hospital each for sports-related injuries, after all, so the risks are very real. So what can we do to help? Well, here are some useful safety tips to keep in mind when you want to protect your little sports fans.
One of the top tips for sports safety is to make sure that every player on the field, in the rink, or at the court has access to high quality, properly-fitting protective gear, especially helmets. Traumatic brain injuries and concussions are among the worst sporting injuries that can occur, but helmets help to reduce the risks of TBIs massively.
It’s important to make sure you find helmets that fit your kids properly, as ill-fitting helmets or other poorly-fitting items of protective equipment won’t provide the top levels of protection required. Secondhand items usually aren’t recommended either, as used helmets can have cracks and hand-me-down pads might not be as strong as they once were.
It’s also wise to make sure that your kids understand the importance of fair play and following the rules. Breaking the rules can easily lead to dangerous situations for both the rule-breaker and the players around them, and it can be quite common for children who struggle to keep their temper under control to get angry and hurt someone else in the heat of the moment.
This tip applies to all kids, but is especially useful for those who get angry easily; as a parent or guardian, make sure you explain to your child about the importance of treating others fairly and respectfully. This will help everyone have more fun and result in a safer, better game overall. Referees should also pay close attention to any rule-breakers and enforce punishments.
Kids can be quite hyperactive and energetic, always eager to have fun, and sometimes forgetful of the simplest of things. They will often, for example, fail to warm up and stretch before starting to play a sport. Again, this can be quite dangerous, and it’s important for parents and teachers to stress the importance of warming up.
Warming up helps to get the heart pumping oxygen around the body and prepares the joints and muscles for exercise and movement. It can make a world of difference, with many studies and medical reports proving that warm-ups massively help to reduce injury risks, so make sure kids get into the habit of having a warm-up session before any physical activity begins.
Some children can have attention issues. They might easily lose attention, get distracted by other people or things around them, or forget parts of the game as they play. This is perfectly natural, but it can be problematic when it comes to sports safety. A child who is inattentive may make a mistake, such as an illegal tackle or a dangerous move that puts themselves and others in danger.
This is why, once more, it’s up to parents, guardians, and other adults to inform their kids about the importance of following the rules and keeping their heads in the game. A single lapse in concentration can lead to some very nasty consequences, and it’s much better for young people to remain focused and avoid incidents, rather than learning the hard way.
It’s widely recommended for parents to encourage their children to play sports and get involved with physical activity on a regular basis, but it’s also important to make sure that they play safely, fairly, and in accordance with the rules. Keep these tips in mind to help your little ones or older kids have the best time in every game they play.