As your children grow up, protecting them can become a challenge. While team sports build confidence, friendships and important fitness habits, unfortunately, sports-related injuries are a common outcome. There are ways you can protect your child from many sports injuries. Use these tips to protect your little athlete.
Preventing Sports Injuries
- Gear up: Always wear proper protective gear including helmets, pads, and mouth guards. The safety equipment should be the correct size and worn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Children may feel that safety gear isn’t stylish or gets in the way of their game, so make sure it’s a family rule.
- Warm up: Always warm up muscles, joints, and lungs before a game. Start with some gentle jogging followed by stretching. Athletes should warm up for at least 15 minutes prior to the game or practice.
- Build up stamina: If your athlete has been off the field for a while, start out slowly. Start with shorter games and practices and build up to more strenuous activity.
- Play by the rules: Make sure all children participating know all the rules. In sports that allow more contact, make it very clear where the line between fair-play and dangerous contact is.
- Be observant: Remind athletes to be good team players by watching out for others. No game is fun to play after someone gets seriously hurt. Players on both teams should look out for each other.
- Take a break: Remind your athlete to stop and rest when he or she feels tired or sore. Our bodies warn us when they are nearing the breaking point. Resting for a short time can prevent injury.
- Pay attention to surroundings: Make sure the playing field is free of holes, debris, and other environmental factors that could lead to a fall or other injury.
- Avoid overuse: Injuries from over straining muscles, joints, or bones can be especially problematic in children as their bone growth may be affected.
- Follow doctor’s orders: If your athlete does get injured, he or she must not participate in any physical activity until approved by a doctor. Returning to sports even a a few days early can lead to a much worse injury.
- Check out this website for more on common injuries in specific sports.
Medical Center Arlington, the official hospital of the Texas Rangers, wants to help you get back in the game. We are here to help assess and prevent sports-related injuries and offer the best orthopedic care available. If you would like a physician referral to schedule a check-up for your athlete, please call 1-855-868-6262. If you need emergency care for a sudden injury, our Emergency Services are here around the clock.