As the weather warms up, more children are headed outside to participate in sports. From casual pickup games to competitive leagues, sports are a great way for children to stay fit and socialize. They’re also an opportunity to suffer injuries if your child isn’t prepared. Kids’ sports safety often starts with parents, so instill good habits to help keep your child safe while she is active.
Nobody wants to be sidelined with an injury, and preparations can keep your child in the game and health all season long. Follow basic safety guidelines to ensure your child stays active:
- Sports Physicals: CHSAA requires all high-school athletes to ensure they’re fit to play, and we recommend all child athletes receive a sports physical every year, regardless of their age.
for athletes of all ages.
- Protective Gear: Ensure all equipment is in good shape and in good working order. Worn-out straps, busted clasps and compressed padding aren’t just unsafe. They’re likely to be uncomfortable, which may tempt little ones to skip gearing up properly.
- Warm Up: Everyone benefits from a warm up before athletic activity. Start with light activity such as jogging and stretching for 10 minutes to prepare for competition and workouts.
- Mind the Field: Playing on poorly maintained surfaces can be dangerous and lead to injury from falls.
- Stay Cool and Hydrated: Allow your child time to adjust to heat, and offer plenty of cool-down time in the summer when heat’s the worst. Encourage athletes to drink plenty of fluids 30 minutes before a competition, and keep water handy throughout practices and competitions to ensure they’re hydrated properly.
More than 2.6 million children are treated in emergency rooms every year for sports and recreation-based injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Luckily, most of these are preventable when parents pay attention to kids’ sports safety.