With the return of school and fall sports, now is the perfect time to discuss injuries, as well as how to keep your child safe while playing the sports they love.
It’s important to let your child know that while you want them to do well and play hard, they need to try to take as few risks as possible. Playing smart and safe, like not pushing themselves too hard and stopping when they feel discomfort or are in pain, are important things to remember when talking to your child about playing sports.
Being a parent and having your child play a sport can be both exciting and terrifying. Sports are a great way to let out energy and make friends, but they can also increase the chances of injury. Football, soccer and baseball are at the top of list when it comes to causing injuries for kids ages 5-14.
Teenagers can be more susceptible to injury, as their bone structure has not fully matured. Growth plates, which are areas of growing tissue near the end of a child’s long bones, can get injured more easily than tendons and ligaments.
Whatever sport your child is competing in, it’s important for them to wear the appropriate protective gear, like a helmet and pads for ice hockey and shin guards for soccer. You should also make sure that your child knows how to appropriately use their athletic equipment. Knowing how to properly adjust a helmet so that it’s tight might seem like a small task, but it’s a crucial part of keeping your child safe in sports such as baseball and football.
Avoid single sport play
For a young athlete, focusing on just one sport is not a great idea. Younger children can experience overuse injuries like shin splints, little leaguer’s elbow or shoulder injuries, which occur when parts of the body are repeatedly strained and do not have enough time to heal. Additionally, spending too much time on just one sport can lead to burnout. That’s why it’s important to take breaks and play other sports, which helps reduce injury, as well as develop coordination and strength.
This article was adapted from WebMD and Focus on the Family. Read the full article here and here.
If you have any questions about keeping your child safe in sports, please contact Campbell Clinic to meet with a physician.