National Youth Sports Safety Month was created by the American Orthopaedic Society to address the growing concern of youth sports injuries. Their common goal is to raise awareness and stop sports injuries through their outreach program.
Many children have very active athletic careers and knowing how to play safe and be smart can only improve this. In addition, learning safety tips can improve children’s teamwork skills, reduce obesity rates, and create a love for exercise and lifelong appreciation for health.
Each sport has very specific injury prevention tips to help children play it safe. From baseball and hockey, to cheerleading and martial arts, there are ways to prevent trauma and injury. However, there are some overall common tips that all children can use. They include:
- Always warm up properly
- Wear the appropriate protective gear
- Enforce a diet with the proper nutrition for athletic performance
- Have pre-season physical examinations
- Avoid overuse and fatigue
- Resist any temptation to play/continue through the pain
- If you are injured, only return to play with clearance from a health professional
As a parent, try and be aware of the warning signs of sports injuries. Examples include swelling, pain, or decreased interest in practice. Always encourage your child to speak up if they feel like something’s not right. Although coaches are observant, their responsibility is on the group of kids as a whole, not just your child.