School’s back in session, and so are after-school athletics. While many kids are back to hitting the field after a long day of hitting the books, many parents are back to worrying about keeping their kiddos safe and off the bench. And for good reason. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 2.5 million children ages 0-19 end up in the ER each year thanks to injuries related sports and recreation.
These tips can help keep your star athlete safe all season long.
Make sure your child is practicing on a maintained field. Many slips, falls, trips, and tumbles happen as a result of issues on playing and practicing surfaces. Divots, holes, wet, or rough patches all up the risk for injury. Talk to your child’s coach, community center, or club to make sure the practice area is regularly maintained.
Make sure their safety equipment fits and functions properly. One of the easiest ways to keep your child safe is making sure all their gear fits them correctly and works like it should. Replace worn out equipment as needed, and don’t settle for sizes that almost fit because you may have borrowed them from someone else.
Make sure your child stays hydrated during practice, and has a healthy snack before and after. Nutrition and hydration are key factors in keeping keeps growing muscles and bones free from injury. Hydration helps keep kids alert, lubricates their muscles, and helps prevent cramping. Nutrient-dense snacks keep bones and muscles strong, helps improve brain function, and makes it easier for kids to concentrate – especially after a long day at school.
Make sure your child is up-to-date on her physicals. This can help you stay updated on any health issues that may impact your child’s ability to play sports safely. It also allows doctors to assess any potential areas of concern and ensure that your child is fit to play.
Make sure your child warms up before practice and cools down after. Warming up and cooling down protect bones and muscles from injury and strain, and prepare them to perform well during play.
Make sure your child is getting enough rest and sleep. Rest is as critical a part of an athlete’s performance as practice. Sleep helps restore muscles after a long day of use – fatigued or overworked muscles are more susceptible to injury; it also helps keep minds sharp and alert.
And if your athlete has suffered an injury, schedule a consultation with the experts at Ortho Sport & Spine Physicians today.
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