Children’s sports are great for providing positive social situations for kids and teaching them how to work together in a team environment, but injuries can, and do, occur. Sports safety for kids should always be a top priority.
More than 2.5 million kids each year are treated in emergency rooms for sports related injury, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. Take a moment to read over a quick summary of a few of the best ways to prevent against childhood sports injuries.
Pre-participation physical examinations
Most teams will require players to have a pre-participation physical examination (or PPE) before they are admitted to play, and it is a good thing they do. Placing a child in a high intensity situation without knowing if they are healthy is dangerous.
A routine sports physical will offer peace of mind and make sure the kid’s body is working properly before the hard work begins. It is also beneficial for insurance and legal purposes should the child be hurt while playing.
Make sure to choose the team that best fits the family’s values
It is not a sound decision to just choose any ole team in the area for the children to join. Every coach and staff handles their team a little differently. Some coaches are more stern and yell more than others.
Coaching styles should coalesce with the personality of the child. Sometimes kids need more gentle correction, and sometimes children require a stern personality to keep them in line. Either way, seek out a coach that meets the needs of the child.
Check the quality of the team’s gear and field
The quality of a child’s sports gear is very important to their safety. No one wants a cracked helmet or shoulder pads that are too small. If the team is not able to meet the standards of safety and quality, it might be better to purchase the child’s gear from an outside source.
The field should also be a main concern for parents. Divots and holes in a playing field can cause real injuries and should be properly maintained. If a team’s staff is not maintaining these issues, then it could be dangerous to play on their field.
Never allow kids to “play through the pain”
If a child is hurting, it is never recommended that they continue to compete. There is no benefit in appearing “tough.” Kids should be assured of their health and safety before returning to the game.
Remember it is just a game and have fun
Above all, remember to have fun. Children’s sports are purposed for teaching and developing strong positive characteristics. There is no reason to be super serious or push a child to the extreme for competition. Have a blast, and hang out with friends.