Sports Injury prevention in Kids, , a guest post by Michelle LaRowe
Over 38 million children participate in organized sports each year in the US. Most survive their sport season with only a few bumps and bruises, but according to the CDC, 2.8 million are admitted to emergency rooms with a sports-related injury each year. While completely preventing injury is impossible, minimizing the risk of serious injury requires only a little forethought and prevention. Help your child have a fun and injury-free sports season with these simple tips for preventing sports related injuries.
Remember RICE Some innocuous injuries can take a turn for the serious simply because the pain and discomfort warning your child’s body to stop playing is ignored. Stress fractures or tendinitis may not sideline you child completely but over time can lead to broken bones or torn muscles. When your child has discomfort, responding to that injury with rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) can ensure that the mild injury doesn’t become serious.
Communicate with Coaches Coaching staff are regularly juggling dozens of kids at different skill levels and expectations. Though they may be invested in your child’s wellbeing and progress in the sport, they don’t always recognize individual injuries or discomforts. Worse, kids often would rather play through the pain! Talk to your child’s coaches about any physical complaints your child has and ask for the coaches to keep an eye out for when your child looks uncomfortable. Keeping coaching staff up-to-date with your child’s injuries can help prevent permanent injury.
Promote Hydration Dehydration is an incredibly serious condition that can lead to cardiac arrest and even death. As the dog days of summer raise temperatures and increase the incidence of heatstroke, making sure that your child is properly hydrated, not only when playing but throughout the day, is imperative to preventing injury. During practice and games, make sure that water breaks are provided regularly and promote drinking water whenever possible.
No Protection? No Play Protective gear is a bare minimum requirement for any sports enthusiast. Whether it’s practicing batting or heading out with friends to skateboard, ensuring that your child is properly dressed with all protective gear on their body and worn properly is mandatory. Have an open discussion with your children about the importance of helmets, pads, and mouth guards, depending on the sport. Even just going down the street with the bike, it only takes a moment without a helmet to suffer devastating consequences of an accident.
Consider Fields and Staff Sports injuries aren’t always the body’s fault. Many times, unfit fields or unprepared staff can unintentionally create an unsafe situation. Before signing up for community sports, check out the playing fields. Make sure that they are well maintained, without holes or sudden dips that can lead to injury. Also, ask about coach, referee, and staff requirements for safety. Coaching staff should be trained in CPR and first aid. Having staff with training in sports injuries and emergency services is always a plus. The old saying goes an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. A serious sports injury can permanently sideline your child but taking some basic steps to ensure your child’s safety can limit the amount of damage that can be caused. Remember to follow RICE when your child is complaining of pain, talk to coaches and ask about their credentials, and be hyper sensitive about hydration.
With over 20 years of experience in the nanny world as an award-winning nanny, agency director, and parenting author, Michelle LaRowe is considered a leading industry expert. A mom herself, she loves to educate parents and nannies on the importance of quality in-home childcare. Find out more by visiting @eNannySource on Twitter.