Getting kids away from computer screens and cell phones can be challenging. Keeping them interested in participating in sports not only gives them exercise, it helps with development in other areas as well, such as cognitive development, critical thinking, conflict resolution and leadership development. Having your kids participate in sports has a variety of advantages. It also has a downside.
Most kids get injured at some point during childhood. Whether it is tripping over a toy or a smack in the head from a flying baseball bat, injuries are going to happen. When your child is involved in sports, there are precautions you can take to minimize the risk for injury. Doing so will aid your child in having a good experience and it will give you a certain piece of mind.
Be Prepared Physically
Participating in sports requires a lot from kids physically. The demands made on their bodies can be tremendous, even though it may be a game for youth. Kids play hard and some play harder than others. Most sports teams for youth require a physical exam and statement from the child’s doctor. This is an important step in making sure your child enjoys the game.
Being physically fit to participate in a sport is crucial for minimizing injuries. If your child has a chronic condition, like asthma, your doctor may give recommendations on how your child can still participate and manage the condition. Taking care of your child’s health is a priority. He or she may want to play that big game even though ill, but doing so could make your child more likely to get injured.
Age Appropriate Sports
There may be some age restrictions on certain sports for kids. Your child may be tall enough or big enough; however, the body is still growing and developing. Certain activities may be too strenuous for younger ages. Make sure your child is participating in the activities that will not do damage to developing bones and muscles.
Not every bump on the head will cause serious problems, but for your child’s benefit, you need to be aware of the dangers of concussion. When a sport calls for a helmet, be sure to get one that is approved and fits well. An ill-fitting helmet can mean the difference between a bump and a serious injury. Be advised that your child can sustain a concussion while swimming with others. Bumping into the swimming pool wall or knocking heads with another swimmer are often sources of mild concussions.
Invest in Protective Gear
Whether it is a helmet, cleats, shin guards, mouthguards or some other protective gear for your child, be sure that it is good quality and fits well. Cheapest is not always best. If you buy used, check to make sure the item is in good condition. A cracked helmet is not going to give your child needed protection.
Being involved in sports will keep your kids healthy and lay a foundation for an active life. Keep injuries to a minimum by making sure your child is prepared for the sport and has the appropriate gear to be safe.
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