If your child is an athlete, or if you’re looking to enroll them to a sports camp, make sure you’re informed well enough to keep them from getting injured.
Young athlete visits an emergency room for every 25 seconds worldwide. One of my daughters, Charlotte, is into playing soft ball. I was very worried after seeing my daughter fall down to the ground while running because of leg cramps. Aside from the physical injuries I thought she may have had, seeing subtle hints of sadness on her face after messing up her run broke my heart.
So in order to minimize, if not prevent, various sports injuries, here are 10 tips that will help keep your little athletes safe.
- Injury awareness
Knowledge is power. Nothing else can save us in times of need other than knowing what to do when the unfortunate times arrive. Educate the kids with first aid treatments for common sports injuries such as bruises, sprains, and even fractures. They should also know the common causes, and how to avoid these injuries.
- Explore pre-season programs
Enrolling the kids in programs before the start of their regular sports season will prepare them for other sports activities. This may either help them develop their body’s resistance, strength, and may also be a source of self-esteem. Some pre-season activities also provide vital information for kids in staying out of danger.
- Warm-up properly
Always make sure that the kids have enough and proper warm-up routines before engaging in any sports activities. Warming-up allows relaxed muscles to feel that they will be at work soon. Shocking our muscles with sudden strenuous activities might cause cramps, among other injuries.
- Provide appropriate sports gear
As parents, it’s important that we provide our little ones definite protection. Basics like knee pads, elbow pads, and helmets are staples. Of course, the types of safety gears vary per sport. It’s best to ask your kid’s coach as to what gears are required or prescribed.
- Choose good facilities
Be keen and observe the children’s play areas for hazardous elements. For example, an indoor basketball court must be dry all the time to avoid slips. Swimming pools should have life guards stationed during swimming sessions, and a martial arts school must have safety mats installed.
- Know who they’re playing with
Sometimes, a child’s playmate might become the cause of injury. Children should only play with kids of the same age. Some sports, especially contact sports like martial arts, might encourage playing with older children. This will most likely result in an uneven match-up. Ask the coach or trainer if this is part of their training, and ask to exclude your child if in case they’re doing this.
- Always stay hydrated
Make sure that the kids have a bottle or a jug of water with them when training, and that they are allowed to take water breaks. It’s important for children to keep their body fluids within safe levels. Dehydration, if left unchecked, can cause dizziness and urinary tract infection, among others.
- Maintain proper diet
A growing kid needs essential vitamins and minerals to develop better. Feed your child protein and calcium-rich meals that help develop their muscles and bones. Serve ample selections of fruits, and give vitamins if needed. Stronger kids are less likely to be injured.
When kids get tired, it’s important that they get enough rest and sleep to recharge. Not only does rest bring back lost energy in the body, sleeping is also the time when muscles recover, gain mass, and develop.
- Remind safety
When kids enjoy, chances are they won’t be thinking much about what they do and how they move about. Always remind the kids that no matter how fun things become, always put safety first. Most of the time, no one can protect young teens but themselves. Keeping a cautioned state of mind would help a lot in keeping the kids from harm and injury.
Other than cooking and baking, Ruth spends her free time browsing through Twitter, eating ice cream, and watching UFC. She works as a Community Manager for Afterschool.ae, the first parent’s planning platform for kids activities in UAE.