As kids are heading back to school, many will be getting involved in school sports. Safe Kids Worldwide estimates that over 38 million school aged kids are involved in sports, and among those, one in three kids will suffer from a sports-related injury. As a parent, you always want to be able to protect your children. While you cannot be on the sports field with them, there are certain measures you can take to help prevent some common injuries.
Preparing for Your Child’s Sports Season
Many different scenarios can result in sports-related injuries. Some are due to poor practice procedures, while others are due to overuse, improper equipment or a lack of a proper warm up. Before your child even has the opportunity to step on the playing field, it’s important to have a preseason physical exam performed by a qualified physician to make sure he or she does not have any type of preexisting injury or condition before beginning their sport. Left untreated an injury will only grow worse throughout the duration of the season, and may result in long term and more serious damage.
Hydration is extremely important for any athlete. You may need to remind your young athlete to drink plenty of water or sports drinks that replenish depleted electrolytes and carbohydrates lost during exercise. It is important for your child to drink plenty of water throughout the day but especially before, during and after any type of intense and strenuous physical exertion.
Safe Practice Procedures
It is also important that the adults in charge of the athletic program follow their sport’s guidelines for conducting safe practices and games, including proper use of equipment, no horse play, proper acclimatization, not allowing players to play injured, and so forth. This can help prevent serious injuries such as concussions and heat illnesses. It is also important that coaches ease the athletes back in to their athletic program by starting out slow and then progressing as the season goes on and the athletes’ physicality and endurance are built back up to a level where they can handle more strenuous training.
High school athletes get injured at the same rate as their professional counterparts, but since younger athletes’ bodies are still growing, the impact can be more severe and long lasting. If your child is showing any signs of a persistent injury or one that affects their game playing in any way, it is important to make an appointment to see an orthopaedic surgeon, who can diagnose and treat injuries to the musculoskeletal system; which includes bones, joints and muscles. If you are unsure about whether or not your child needs to be seen, then consult your physician to inquire. It is vital that any sports-related injury is addressed and treated in the earliest stage possible to avoid long-term problems.