All parents worry about their children getting injured. As the parent of a sporty kid, you might find yourself worrying about this more than most. You’ll be pleased to hear there are simple steps you can take to reduce your child’s risk of injury on the field.
One of the hardest parts of being a parent is seeing your child get hurt. Even just a graze on the knee can be heartbreaking to witness, and most parents would swap places with their child in a heartbeat to protect them from pain.
All children suffer the odd injury, and this risk is increased if your child spends a lot of time doing physical activity. That doesn’t mean you have to simply accept that accidents will happen? Well, there are things you can do to try and keep your child safe from injury. Here are seven steps you can take to reduce your child’s risk of injury on the pitch:
#1: Trust the Coach
This is probably one of the most important steps you can take to keep your child safe. The coach will be responsible for your child’s welfare during games and practices, so make sure you can trust the person coaching your child’s team. The coach should be properly trained in best practices, as well as being first aid trained.
#2: Check The Equipment
Don’t just join the team closest to your house; make sure it is a reputable one. If you’re happy with the coach’s commitment to safety, next it’s time to check the equipment. Does it look safe? Is it regularly monitored for wear and tear? Is the pitch in good condition? These are all important questions to ask yourself before selecting a team for your child to join.
#3: Use The Right Kit
Hand-me-downs might save you money, but they could be putting your child in danger. When it comes to footwear and protective gear, your child needs to have gear that fits properly. A badly fitted helmet will not provide the same level of protection as one that is the right size for your child.
#4: Use Sunscreen
Sunburns may not sound like a sports injury, but many children play sports outside without wearing sunscreen. Sunburns can leave your child in pain and cause a lot of discomfort. If your child constantly plays without applying sunscreen he or she will also increase their risk of more serious skin conditions later on. Sunscreen is an important part of protecting your child during outdoor sports.
#5: Warm Up and Cool Down
Warming up before a game, and taking the time to cool down afterwards, can protect your child’s muscles from injury. Make sure warming up and cooling down is a part of your child’s regular sports routine. Speak to the coach to make sure that they are warming up safely, and that the team cools down together after each session.
#6: Stay Hydrated
We all need to drink extra water when we exercise. One hour of exercise means you need to drink an extra six-ounce glass of water. If you don’t have water at hand, it’s all too easy to forget this. Dehydration is serious and could leave your child feeling unwell, especially in warmer weather. Make sure you send your child with a bottle of water to each game, so she can have it nearby when she gets thirsty.
Rest is very important for young athletes. Make sure your child gets enough time each day to wind down and rest. If he’s rushing from one activity to another all day long, he’s more likely to feel tired while playing and is more likely to make a mistake that can result in an injury. If he does sustain an injury, make sure he rests until he is fully recovered. Rushing recovery can backfire, leading to an even longer recovery time when a secondary injury is incurred.