Is Your Kid Tough Enough to Gear Up for Sports? A guest post from Ashley Hardway
Some believe themselves to be invincible when it comes to various activities. Every time you get on a bike or step onto the field, you are subjecting yourself to the risk of sustaining injuries. It’s the protective gear that goes with the activity that dictates just how serious that injury becomes. For a child, this danger is greatly amplified – especially when it comes to head trauma. Why should you consider buying those pads and helmets for sporting activities?
Rough Play – Every year, 1.35 million children are seriously injured during sports of all kinds. When you consider that approximately 30 million children play these sports, the odds are not very good that your child will walk away unscathed. This means that there is a 4.5-percent chance that your child could suffer a crippling injury while playing his or her favorite game. To some parents, 4.5-percent isn’t anything to worry about – until it’s your child that is lying on the hospital bed with a concussion.
Head Trauma – Of all the injuries recorded by Safe Kids Worldwide, ages eight to 11 account for 19-percent of total concussions under the age of 19. In fact, head injuries are second overall only surpassed by the ankles. Almost 164,000 children suffer from a concussion during sports and many of them didn’t have to. Although almost everyone plays football with a helmet, backyard sporting events or park playgrounds don’t have adequate means to protect from receiving a blow to the head.
Not Everything is Safe – Did you know that 37,770 child cheer-leading accidents took place in 2012? Although most of these accidents attributed more to ankles, knees and fingers, it goes to show you that any physical activity can be hazardous to a child. Some injuries suffered now can prevent a promising career in high school and even college. Often times a dislocated shoulder while young causes a problem for those that wanted to pitch in baseball. Knees can also be a long-lasting and career-ending cause of physical problems.
Full-Contact or Not – As football holds the lead with the most injuries children were subjected to, basketball is not far behind. While basketball isn’t normally a full-contact sport, accidents do happen quite often given the fast paced nature of the game. It surpasses the next most aggressive game for children, which is soccer, by more than 217,000 injuries. There are more than twice the injuries on a basketball court than there are on a soccer field.
Bicycles – Although the death rate for children riding bicycles had been cut in half from the year 2000 to 2010, the number of fatalities is still quite high. Children between the ages of five and 14 are admitted into the emergency room for bicycling injuries more than any other sport. A great deal of these injuries could have been avoided if the child was wearing a helmet while riding the bike. Helmets reduce the injury risk by at least 45-percent and can be effective against brain injuries by decreasing that number by 33-percent.
Putting on protective gear doesn’t mean that you are any less “tough” than the other players. It shows responsibility to yourself and your family in order to promote a healthier way to live. This aspect should be taught to your child before the ambulance pulls up and takes you both to the emergency room.
Always curious, Ashley Hardway is constantly learning and passionate about sharing what she learns with others. Based in Houston, Texas, she loves to help families grow stronger, help their environments and communities, and keep moving forward! Check out @NannyLady on Twitter to connect and find out more.