Don't let an injury keep your child sidelined from his or her favorite sport. While your child is having fun on the field or on the court, you can think ahead and help prevent a sports injury. Always keep note of these five tips from Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group The Woodlands.
Start and Finish Right
Before your child begins the season, take him or her to a primary care physician for an annual physical. Your doctor can give you the ok that your child is ready to safely play. When it comes time for a practice or game, make sure your child warms up and cools down. Warm ups and cool downs prepare and destress the body, reducing the risk of injury. Warm up with some stretching, aiming to hold each stretch for 20 seconds, and some light cardio. Remind your child that cool downs should be twice as long as the warm ups.
Pay attention to the temperature. If it is particularly hot or humid, give your young athlete time to adjust, easing into their more strenuous workouts. Be sure your child drinks lots of water, applies sunscreen, and wears breathable clothing, especially when it’s hot outside, to avoid overheating. Watch out for rain, as muddy fields or rain-slicked courts can easily lead to injury.
Wear the Right Gear
Protective clothing, including helmets and pads, is essential. Check that your child’s protective gear is not broken in any way or overused. Gear that isn’t in top condition won’t protect as well. Look for worn or flattened pads and broken buckles. Always check that the gear is the right size for him or her. Even your child’s shoes should provide the proper amount of foot support.
Athletes who know the right moves are a lot less likely to hurt themselves. Practice with your child and watch to be sure he or she is using proper form and technique. If your child plays contact sports like football or rugby, emphasize safe tackling, avoiding head contact. Every warm up and cool down should also be performed correctly to avoid injury.
Walk the Walk
You expect your child to wear protective gear and follow the rules when playing sports. Do the same to be a role model for your child. Take care of yourself to keep your body strong and set the example. Maintain a healthy diet, condition yourself properly, and don’t overwork yourself. Be sure to engage in a comprehensive fitness plan for yourself that includes cardio, flexibility, and strength training to promote a healthy lifestyle in your family.
Make an appointment today for your child to have a physical with Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group. If your child sustains a sports injury, visit one of our physicians for a diagnosis and course of treatment to get him or her back into the game.
Preventing Sports Injuries
CDC - Sports Safety
CDC - Sports and Recreation-Related Injuries