Choose Local Youth Sports Organizations
Your child is at a higher risk of suffering from a sports injury when playing unorganized and unsupervised sports. Enroll your child in an organization that will allow for constant adult supervision and guidance. These adults can ensure that the children know how to play in order to avoid injury, and they can provide quick response in the even that an incident does occur. Do your research to determine which types of sports are available in your area. These may include:
- Club Soccer
- Youth Football
- Softball Clubs
- Lacrosse Clubs
- Basketball Clubs
- Club Baseball Teams
- Hockey Clubs
- And More
You do not have to limit your child to the common sports such as football or basketball. Give your young athlete the chance to explore more organized sports options.
Wear Proper Gear
Children should always wear proper safety gear, even when practicing. This gear may include helmets, mouth guards, shin guards, athletic shoes, as well as many other types of equipment. Consult with your child’s coach in order to know what the recommended safety gear includes for their sport.
Remember that as your child plays, the safety equipment will wear down. These items should be replaced regularly in order to continue providing the support and protection necessary to avoid injury.
Do Warm Up Exercises and Stretches
Children are often very eager to hit the field and begin playing the game as soon as possible, without any warm-up period slowing them down. Many of the most common youth sports injuries are injuries to the soft tissues and muscles, such as sprains and strains. Your child is more susceptible to experience these injuries if the muscles are tight and tense before playing. By doing warm-up exercises and stretching, the muscles can become more loose and flexible, reducing the risk of muscle soreness and many common injuries.
Be Aware of the Weather
Always pay attention to the forecast for practice and game days. Your child may need extra protective gear or clothing in order to protect against the elements. If it is especially hot and sunny, for example, your child will need sunscreen, eye protection, as well as extra hydration. Without protection from hot or cold weather, the child’s body can become weakened and more vulnerable to injury.
Treat Injuries Right Away
Do not encourage your child to just “walk-off” an injury. Any pain or discomfort should be taken very seriously and examined as soon as possible. Your local youth sports organization should have health professionals available in the event that your child is hurt.
If your child is in pain, and they continue playing, a minor injury could potentially become much more severe and difficult to treat. By having the injury examined and treated early, it is much more possible for the injury to heal without having any lasting effect on growth and development.
Let Them Play
The idea of a sports injury should not keep you from allowing your child to participate. The socializing and health benefits of youth sports far outweigh the risks. As long as you and your child take the proper safety precautions, the game can continue without reason for worry.
Parents and athletes can keep up-to-date on youth sports around the country.