April is Youth Sports Safety Month! We highly encourage kids to participate in physical activity. Keeping your child active and strong can help set them up for a healthier future. We wanted to take some time this month to share a few tips for keeping your youth athletes safe.
Before enrolling your child in a sport, make sure they receive a pre-participation physical.
Meet the coach:
Make sure that your child’s coach is appropriately experienced in supervising the sport, can provide proper direction in conditioning and injury prevention, and that they are prepared to perform first aid and CPR in case of emergency.
Be sure that your child is in the right physical and psychological condition to play their chosen sport.
Play by the rules:
Be sure that your child is clear about the rules of the game. They are designed to keep athletes safe and organized.
Wear protective equipment:
Do not allow your child to play without the proper protective gear. Parents, do your research. Be sure that the equipment meets national standards, is in good condition and is properly fitted.
Warm up, stretch and cool down:
Be sure that your child is participating in low intensity cardiovascular activity to warm up their muscles, and that they properly stretch. Stretching can help minimize the chance of muscle strain or soft tissue injury. Cool down is necessary to loosen the muscles that may have tightened during exercise.
Make sure your child is prepared with plenty of water during practice and games. It is also important that you help your child understand the importance of staying hydrated outside of practice and games. Click here for a few tips on ways to keep your kids hydrated.
Don’t play if tired or in pain:
Pay attention to how your child is feeling before practice or games. Be sure that they are properly rested, as fatigue can lead to injury or poor judgment. If they are experiencing pain, be safe and be sure to seek medical attention. If injured, make sure that they take enough time off – or they will run a greater risk for reinjury.