Take the Necessary Steps to Avoid Unnecessary Injuries
Before signing up for soccer or trying out for the baseball team, taking the following preventive measures can reduce your child’s chances of joining the hundreds of thousands who sustain mild to catastrophic sports injuries each year.
- Before you start
Have your child undergo a thorough medical examination. Required by many states, this exam should identify any preexisting medical conditions that could be exacerbated by playing sports. If you have questions about your child’s overall conditioning or nutritional status, consult with a personal trainer or registered dietitian who specializes in the unique requirements of children.
- Got protection?
Make sure your child has the right protective equipment and that it is in good condition. Helmets, especially, are essential for reducing the incidence of head trauma, particularly in activities such as football, martial arts, bicycling, skateboarding and inline skating.
- Focus on the fun
Like adults, children are not immune to overdoing it in the quest to be the best. Competition is a healthy aspect of sports, but the desire to win at all costs can quickly lead to injury and frustration. It may also encourage a child to play through a seemingly minor injury, which can result in more extensive or permanent damage.
- Keep plenty of fluids on hand
Children are more susceptible to heat-related illness than adults than adults are, and their bodies’ needs for water often take a back seat to their need to run and play. Caffeine-containing sodas exacerbate this problem by encouraging fluid loss; water and sports drinks are better choices.