As parents, it’s only natural to want your child to excel in sports—especially if it’s something that he’s passionate about. After all, it’s a way for them to learn about physical fitness, coordination, discipline, and team work—qualities that will prove valuable to them later in life. Since their bodies are still developing, however, young athletes are at greater risk for injury than adults. To reduce the potential for being sidelined by a sports injury, you need to make sure your child is really prepared to compete. Here are some important tips to keep in mind:
Use proper safety equipment.
The first step toward minimizing the potential for injury is to have him wear the proper safety equipment for his sport. Depending on his favorite game, the combination of equipment will vary. Ask your child’s coach about the required gear, and make sure to test for proper fit and comfort before you buy.
Perform stretching and warmups.
Protective gear is not enough. Make sure your child is ready for any level of exertion by making him perform proper stretching and warmup exercises prior to the game. Some of the best pre-game exercise your child can do include stretching the neck, shoulder, quadriceps, and hamstrings.
Learn the correct techniques of playing the game.
Proper technique isn’t only critical for winning games, it’s also useful for preventing injury. Improper technique has led to many accidents and injuries in a variety of sports. Talk to your child’s coach or teach yourself about the generally accepted and practiced techniques for the game your child is interested in.
Don’t forget to drink water regularly.
Keeping hydrated is a great way for a child to stay healthy and safe. Encourage your child to drink water frequently before, during, and after a game. Doing this will reduce the potential for fatigue, cramps, and other symptoms of dehydration.
Stop playing if there is pain.
Though this is pretty much common knowledge, many young athletes will continue to play through the pain for different reasons such as not wanting to let the team down or believing the injury isn’t that serious. Regardless of the degree of pain or injury, make sure your child is tended by a sports medicine professional such as an athletic trainer or an orthopedic surgeon, and don’t let him play unless he is fully healed.
Treatment for Sports Injuries in Denver
Orthopedic facilities in Denver such as Steadman Hawkins Clinic Denver houses a staff of orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists, athletic trainers, massage therapists, performance therapists, and chiropractors ready to provide world-class care for injured athletes young and old.
Back on the field: How to avoid youth sports injuries this school year, WTOP, August 9, 2015
How to Help Your Kids Avoid Sports Injuries, Huffington Post, July 22, 2015