Youth Sports Safety Tips
Helpful Tips to Keep Your Kids Injury Free
It’s National Youth Sports Safety Month! The love of sports runs deep in every Texan. Our kids are eager to participate in all kinds of sports, from little league, football, basketball, soccer, tennis, golf, and anything else you can think of.
There is an underside to this passion for sports though, and it lies in the intensity of the workouts and the pressure to always be better, faster, stronger. Sports is a great way to build character, learn about responsibility, discipline, and teamwork. However, without the proper supervision and training, playing sports could result in a minor or major sports injury. As our athletes start young, youth sports safety is crucial to keep your children or teens injury free.
At Altus ER we often see kids who have been injured while playing a sport, clearly, some injuries are accidental, others, however, could be easily prevented or minimized with proper supervision. In honor of National Youth Sports Safety Month, we would like to share some helpful prevention tips.
Most Common Youth Sports Injuries
Most of the youth sport injuries occur during practice rather than games, but, they could happen at any time, it is important for parents and coaches to know that any sport injury should be treated correctly to prevent further problems, if your child is experiencing pain, or if you notice swelling, lack of mobility, disorientation, or bleeding bring them in to the nearest Altus Emergency Center for evaluation.
Some of the most common sports injuries in children include:
- – Joint Dislocations
- – Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tear
- – Concussions
- – Fractures and Sprains
- – Meniscus Tear
- – Rotator Cuff Tendonitis
- – Dehydration
Injuries happen but we can do our best to prevent them.
- Rest: It is never a good idea to let your kids over exercise. The body needs time to recover and heal itself. Make sure your kids rest at least 1 day a week, and they should also take a minimum of 1 month off per year from training for any given sport. It is also helpful to limit the number of teams or leagues your child plays in, this will reduce the risk of injury due to overuse.
- Invest in Proper Gear: We understand that sports gear can be expensive, but, the proper gear can go a long way in preventing sports injuries. Young athletes should wear appropriate and properly fitting protective equipment including pads, helmets, mouthpieces, face guards, eyewear, and shoes.
- Strength and Flexibility: Conditioning the body to withstand the intense workouts is one of the best prevention methods. Coaches should incorporate conditioning exercises during practice to help strengthen muscles and stretching exercises should be performed before and after practice or a game.
- Proper Techniques: It is easy for kids to develop bad habits when exercising. It’s the coach’s responsibility to ensure that every child is taught the proper techniques and reinforce it throughout the season.
- Don’t Play the Hero: Young athletes are driven and passionate, and they sometimes have a tendency of thinking they are invincible. Many injuries are made worse because athletes try to play through the pain. This should never be done. Coaches should remove the injured kids from the game or practice and a pediatric emergency physician should evaluate the injury before the child can resume their training.
- Hydrate: Children have a hard time identifying the signs of dehydration. Always make sure that they drink plenty of fluids before, during and after exercise or play.
- Only Play In Adequate Conditions: Children should not practice any sports if there are obstacles on the playing field. Please avoid areas with exposed sprinklers. Also, avoid playing fields that are overgrown or full of garbage and/or debris.
Know Where to Go In the Event of an Injury
At Altus Emergency Centers we admire the passion and drive that young athletes demonstrate each time they suit up for practice or a game. Our emergency trained physicians are committed to restoring their health if ever they should become injured.