Lots of kids play sports, from Little League baseball to pee-wee soccer. Regardless of the level of contact your child has with other children or sports equipment, he or she can hurt themselves as they play. Before your child steps onto the court or enters the field to play sports, you should consider their safety and take all possible precautions to ensure their health and well-being.
Tips for Safety During Kids Sports Activities
While you don’t want to ruin your child’s fun as they play their favorite sport, there are some things you can do to keep them safe. Here are some tips about kid safety while playing sports:
Take Head Injuries Seriously
Head injuries can happen with almost any activity, but your child’s risk of harm is increased when they play sports. They might get hit in the head with a ball, or experience a head injury by accident if they come into contact with an opponent or even a teammate as they play. Head injuries, especially those resulting in a concussion, are severe and should be treated as such. The symptoms may seem minor, but children and adults can experience impaired thinking, memory, sensation, or emotion if their head injury is improperly treated. When your child has a sports-related head injury or suffers a concussion from an accident or traumatic situation, they may have Traumatic Brain Injury TBI symptoms years later.
Give Your Child Protective Gear
Most sports require some protective gear to prevent or mitigate injuries, even for adults. There are shin guards for soccer, batting helmets for baseball (or full-body padding for the catcher), and all kinds of padding and helmets for football, even when tackling isn’t allowed at your child’s age. Ensure your child has the protective gear they need to play safely and require them to wear it even if they are just practicing. They might complain, but their safety is more important than their image. Be sure to check their protective gear regularly, and replace it if you notice any cracks, dents, or tears.
Make sure that your child plays safely in addition to wearing the appropriate protection. They should always play by the rules of the sport and avoid dangerous practices such as body checking when they play ice hockey or tackling an opponent if it’s not yet allowed for their age group. Before your child steps out on the playing field or court, you can check the playing area for dangerous hazards such as debris or holes. Your child’s coach might already have protocols to ensure a safe playing field, as well.
Your child can also play more safely if they take care to stretch and warm-up before every practice or game. Teach them about the importance of these steps, since instilling the habit of stretching and warming up their muscles and tendons from early on will benefit them greatly. Strong, flexible muscles are less likely to be injured, and your child may find that they are stronger or faster when they are more limber. They should take frequent breaks during more strenuous sports and drink plenty of water or electrolytes to avoid overusing their muscles and causing injury.