The statistics all around the world are startling; children are much more likely to be injured while playing sports than an adult, even if they are only playing the occasional game. As parents and adults, how can we protect children from the majority of the injuries? There are some things you can do, both as treatment and as preventative to ensure that they are as protected as possible.
Your first concern should always be getting a physical check up of your child done before allowing them to actually play sports. This is absolutely imperative to let you know if there are any potential problems that you need to know about. While most children are healthy, there are some children that are not or that are highly prone to injuries. A good doctor should be able to let you know if your child can handle the physical activity of playing a sport.
Ensure your child has the appropriate safety equipment. Never allow them to play or practice without it. This can result in serious injuries as well as minor injuries, but it is always best to protect your child by ensuring that safety equipment is always worn. In addition, it is important to ensure that the safety equipment your child uses fits properly. This means that while it may be cheaper to pass down equipment from child to child, making sure it fits appropriately is even more important.
Other concerns should be ensuring that the coach your child plays with has been trained in how to interact with children, as well as teach them the rules of the game. Ensuring that all kids playing follow the rules is one of the best moves that coaches can make to help avoid injuries both during practice and during games. Teaching how to cheat will not only rob your child of sportsmanship but also increase the risk of injury immensely.
Make sure your child is playing with other children who are around the same size, as well as skill level. Common sense should tell you that a 5 year old should not be playing on the same team as a 15 year old. However, many parents do not realize just how important skill level can be. Having a child who is a beginner playing on an intermediate to advanced level team is a recipe for disaster and should be avoided. Always ask about the skill level of the team before signing up, if the team is too advanced for your child, find a team that is better suited.
Before your child starts any sport, regardless of age you should find a sports medicine doctor whom you are comfortable with as well as whom your child can talk to. This is important because many parents must deal with restrictions due to insurance and geographical location. Finding a doctor who is suitable before an injury occurs means you will spend less time waiting to start appropriate treatment in the event that an injury does occur. This also helps to ensure that you start your child on the appropriate foot in terms of preparing to be the safest and healthiest possible while playing sports.
As you can imagine, there are always numerous things to look out for in childhood. Injuries in sports just constitutes yet another potential danger, but with careful consideration and close supervision it is possible for most children to enjoy playing sports with very few, or minor injuries.