Injury Prevention Cheat Sheet for Parents
Letting your kids engage in sports activities helps them acquire lifelong skills. These include sportsmanship, teamwork and discipline. Over time, they may likewise develop the strong, holistic attitude that would help them face and overcome life’s challenges with resilience.
Along with great benefits, athletic activities carry risk. While most injuries that kids will encounter are simple bruises and minor scratches, it is important that the adults involved in practices and games create a safe environment that helps to prevent more serious injury.
Here are eight tips for preventing sports injuries in young athletes:
1. Determine if your child is fit to play
Before letting children join sports activities, it is imperative that they get a preseason physical. This will help determine if they are fit to play or if they have an underlying injury.
2. Teach them that pain is not a normal part of any sports activity
Whatever sport your chooses to play while pain is a common experienced, it is not something they should accept and tolerate without question. Young athletes should know to tell someone when they have pain or any discomfort in order to prevent more serious conditions.
3. Find the right coach
Not all sports coaches are created equal, so be careful when choosing a team and a coach for your child. Choose one who is certified by a national federation or association. This guarantees they have both theoretical and practical training. In addition, find someone who finds a balance between fun and challenge.
A coach who possesses a positive personality and gets along well with kids is important. Keep in mind that a coach is a mentor, so aligned character and goals are crucial.
4. Attend a sports clinic
Sports clinics for kids will help your child become ready to play the sport they like. These programs can train your child to become more adept at the basics of the chosen sport.
Also, these clinics often include injury awareness and prevention, which are important for children to learn for themselves. Moreover, they will learn the importance of seeking professional help when something may be wrong.
5. Make time for warm-ups and rest
Performing stretches before participating in any sport is one crucial injury prevention technique that must become a habit for athletes. This will help loosen their muscles as well as prepare them for the activity ahead. Some examples of the warm-up exercises they should do are dynamic toe touches, jumping jacks, and stretches.
Getting sufficient rest is just as crucial as doing warm-up exercises. Young athletes need to rest between games, events, and practices. As much as you may want your child to become the best player, avoid letting them overwork their muscles as this can result in overuse injuries.
For instance, you must plan an off-season period for your kids to give their bodies enough time to recover before the start of the next season.
6. Observe proper hydration and diet
Dehydration is common among athletes because as they engage in physical activities, they lose water and other essential minerals through sweat. As a parent, you have to make sure that your child is taking enough water – before, during and after play.
Pack enough water for practice or a match, and ask that the coach remind the team to drink water as frequently as possible. All adults should be on the lookout for for signs of dehydration, which include nausea, fatigue and confusion, especially on hot days.
In addition to proper hydration, you should also emphasise the importance of a well-balanced diet focused on lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables. Also, they should follow a regular eating schedule as the essential vitamins and minerals children get from the food they consume will help protect their body’s systems from illnesses and make their bones stronger.
7. Invest in the right equipment
Sports injuries can be prevented if your child is wearing the proper protective equipment, not only during play but also during warm-up exercises and whenever they are in the play area. Talk to your child’s coaches before the practice session starts so you will know what equipment to buy. They can even recommend the best stores to buy these gears from.
Size matters also, as clothes, particularly shoes, that are the wrong size may cause blisters or chafing for children.
8. Learn how to recognise an injury
As a parent, you must learn how to recognise sports injuries, especially if your kids think they are tough and tend to disregard aches and pains that could potentially become more serious.
If you notice any change in their movements or techniques, such as rubbing their legs during activity or throwing differently, take them out of the game and let a professional assess them first before allowing them to play again. Help your kids understand the significance of recovery.
While sports are safe when provided by qualified professionals, they inevitably carry a risk of injury. This small risk should not prevent your kids from playing tennis, basketball, or any other sport they like. There are ways to prevent these injuries, while on the other hand, there are few better ways to help them learn lifelong skills and values than sports camps and lessons.