An estimated 60 million children, ages 6 to 18, participate in some form of organized sports, according to a survey completed by the National Council of Youth. Sports offer many social, physical, and psychological benefits for children, but there is some risk involved when playing sports. As a parent, it is your job to stay informed and make sure your child is taking the necessary precautions when playing a sport this summer.
Here are 5 easy-to-follow tips to keep your child safe while playing summer sports:
1. Know the demands of the sport. Playing a sport is physically demanding and each sport comes with its own set of demands. Make sure your child is in good condition to play by getting a physical performed by a doctor before the season starts.
2. Use equipment and safety gear properly. Some sports require equipment, such as baseball and soccer. Make sure your child has been instructed on how to properly use the equipment to avoid pulling or overextending a muscle or accidentally hurting another child. It is important to not only wear the required safety gear while playing sports, but to also make sure your child is wearing the proper size. Safety gear that is too large or too small is at risk for not protecting your child fully.
3. Warm ups and cool downs are important. One of the easiest ways to prevent an injury is to warm up and cool down properly before and after a practice or game. Some form of cardio for 10 minutes, followed by stretching is recommended. Remember to hold each position for at least 20 seconds when stretching.
4. Rest. Overuse injury is very common in young athletes. Nonstop playing can result in serious injury. Athletes should have breaks during practices and games. Children should have at least one or two days of rest without playing a sport.
5. Hydrate and use sunscreen. Temperatures skyrocket during the summer. Make sure your child is drinking an adequate amount of water. Pack a water bottle for your child to keep with them at all times and tell them to drink water before, during, and after playing. It is best to pre-hydrate the day before a strenuous sporting activity. Sports drinks have an astonishing amount of sugar in them, therefore, water is always the best choice. Wearing sunscreen will keep your child happier and healthier. The CDC recommends using a sunscreen with at least 15 SPF and UVA and UVB protection. Apply 30 minutes before going outside and don’t forget to reapply.
For compassionate healthcare, at a state of the art facility, visit Collins Orthopedics. Dr. Collins specializes in a variety of orthopedic and sports medicine treatments, including meniscus and cartilage repair, total hip replacement, and fracture care. For more information, contact us today.