As the kids head back to school they may be excited to join one of the many school sports throughout the year. Sporting activities are a great way to keep kids healthy and start them on the right path to leading a physically active lifestyle. They can also be dangerous and lead to injury; however, there are steps you can take to ensure their safety on the court, field, or track.
Make sure your child has the proper gear for the sport they choose. Wearing helmets, wrist guards, mouth guards, elbow, and knee pads are a few of the safety mechanisms that can help prevent injury. Also, ensure the equipment they use is in good condition and is a proper fit. Wearing the gear improperly can also lead to injury and decrease the amount of protection it gives them.
Talk to the school to ensure they have an action plan in place for their sports program regarding injuries. It should include information on how they educate athletes about concussions and other injuries. Talk to your child about these risks as well so they understand the consequences of not practicing sporting safety.
Temperatures can also play a role. For outdoor sports, talk to your school about what happens on days of excessive heat, or extreme cold to ensure they have alternative practice spaces or methodologies in place.
Be sure your child knows to report any injuries they have to their coaches. If the coach is unaware of their injury, they’ll push them to practice and play as they normally do. Many kids keep playing through injuries to avoid embarrassment or fear they will be kicked off the team.
It is important they know that playing with an injury, depending on what it is can lead to further damage. Many injuries can be wrapped, or taped to prevent additional injury – let them know there are options to keep them in the game, but the ultimate choice is up to the coaching staff.
Coaches, parents, and students should practice good sportsmanship at all times. Regardless of what the other team may be doing, another teammate, or even a parent on the sidelines – be sure your child knows the rules of good conduct to keep everyone safe, on and off the playing grounds.