Children’s bones and muscles are still growing so that makes them more susceptible to sports injuries. There are some things parents can do to minimize the risk of their young athlete getting hurt.
First, make sure the coaches are trained in First Aid and CPR and have a plan to respond to emergencies. Also proper use of equipment is crucial. Helmets should be used in sports like football and skiing. It is important to make sure the helmet fits correctly. Mouth guards can help prevent dental injuries even in sports when helmets aren’t required.
If your son or daughter is into bicycling, skateboarding or scooter riding, wrist guards can reduce wrist injuries by up to 89%, elbow pads can reduce elbow injuries by 82% and knee pads reduce knee injuries by 32%. (St. Vincent’s Hospital Sports Medicine department statistics)
Always make sure your child has access to water and knows the signs of heat exhaustion which are nausea, dizziness and elevated body temperature.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children take at least one day off a week from organized physical activity and at least 2-3 months off from a particular sport per year to avoid over training and burnout.
Finally, sports programs with adults on staff who are Certified Athletic Trainers are ideal because they are trained to prevent or provide immediate care for athletic injuries. A great resource is stopsportsinjuries.org.
Gene Schafer, A.T.C
Owner, ARC Athletics
By Gene Schafer / August 14, 2013