Youth sports are a great way for a child to get exercise while having fun! But unfortunately, all sports have a risk of injury. The more contact in a sport, the greater the risk of injury and most injuries in young athletes are due to overuse. These tips can reduce the risk of injury and help parents promote a safe, optimal sports experience for their child.
Injury prevention tips:
Enroll your child in organized sports through schools, community clubs, and recreation areas that are properly maintained. Any organized team activity should demonstrate a commitment to injury prevention. Coaches should be trained in first aid and CPR, and should have a plan for responding to emergencies. Coaches should be well versed in the proper use of equipment, and should enforce rules on equipment use.
Wear the right gear. Players should wear appropriate and properly fitting protective equipment.
Stretch before and after sports activity. Warm-up exercises make the body’s tissues warmer and more flexible. Cool-down exercises loosen muscles that have tightened during exercise.
Take breaks. Rest periods during practice and games can reduce injuries and prevent heat illness.
Drink fluids. It is important to stay properly hydrated. Water is recommended but sports drinks like Gatorade can also help your child stay hydrated.
Play safe. Follow the rules of the sport, they were put in place to help prevent injury.
Avoid heat injury. Drink plenty of fluids, preferably water, before, during and after exercise or play; wear light clothing; decrease or stop practices or competitions during high heat/humidity periods.
Stop the activity if there is pain.
Take time off. Take at least 1 day off per week from a sport to allow the body to recover.