Tips for helping your kids prevent sports injuries

1 Aug

Remember when Daniel was 5 months old and I broke my wrist?  My right wrist (and I’m right handed)?  I couldn’t drive, and everything I did was hard, including brushing my teeth, since I had to use my left hand.  Picking Daniel up was even harder since there was no way I could get a 5 month old out of a cot/crib with one hand.  I had to use both whilst grinning and bearing the pain.

Clearly I am not the person to talk to about preventing sports injuries.  Instead, today’s post on the preventative injuries topic is a guest post written by Medicare local:

Sports are great for kids; they get them outdoors, mobile, fit and happy. Sport can help develop important skills like coordination, working as part of a team and even promote self confidence, not to mention a healthy and active lifestyle. But, of course, there’s always the risk of injury where there’s physical activity. There’s no need to worry though, by taking a few simple steps you can greatly reduce your child’s risk of sustaining a sporting injury.

Wear Protective Gear

Rule number one of preventing sport injuries is to wear protective gear when playing a sport. Whether it’s a helmet, a mouthguard, shin-pads or gloves, if it’s recommended for your child’s sport then it’s a worthwhile investment. Concentrate particularly on known problem areas for your child’s chosen sport – choose gear that will protect any area that is most commonly at risk in that sport. Ask the coach for advice and do your research to make sure you’re protecting the right places.

Warm-Up and Cool-Down

It’s important that your kids do warm-up exercises before training or playing a sport, and cool-down exercises afterwards. Warming up helps loosen the muscles and prepare them for a higher-intensity workout by increasing blood-flow to the muscles. Cool-down exercises afterwards help return the body to normal activity levels gradually, avoiding blood rushing to the muscles and pooling after an activity is stopped abruptly and flushing out waste products like lactic acid.


Training and Education

One of the best preventative steps when it comes to kids’ sports injuries in proper training and education. If your child knows how to play the game or workout correctly and understands the risks associated with that activity they have a much better chance of avoiding injury. Kids should be educated about how the body works and what muscles they use for the sport, as well as how to avoid doing themselves any injuries, including warming-up and cooling-down.

Time to Heal

While your child might be impatient to get back in the game as soon as possible, it’s very important that he/she has a sufficient amount of time to heal and doesn’t come back to the sport before the injury is fully healed. Starting again too soon can put your child at risk of re-injury and will mean even more time away from his/her favourite sports in the long run so don’t be hasty and make sure your child has properly healed before heading back onto the field.

If your child has sustained a particularly bad injury and is reluctant to go back to playing sport, you can ask your local child mental health services for advice about dealing with the mental impact of injury and how you can help him/her overcome the resultant fears.

Adult Supervision

During sport and training kids should be supervised by a trained adult who can guide them through a safe and effective game or training session and help them avoid any activities which may cause injury. Having a trained adult there means kids have access to help and advice, can be corrected when they’re doing something that may put them at risk of injury, and have somebody at hand to come to aid immediately if they do injure themselves.

With these measures in place you can rest assured that you’ve taken positive steps against injury and your child will be free to enjoy his/her favourite sports in a safe environment.

*This post was brought to you by Medicare Local – Darling Downs, Southwest Queensland.

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