Keep your kids off the sidelines and one the field with these safety suggestions.
What is the worst part of an injury to a child athlete, the injury itself or sitting out? As the parent, you would probably say the injury. Your child might pick the latter choice. Either way, pain can be prevented with the proper precautions.
Get the gear
Use the right equipment for each situation. If your child is playing football, make sure they have proper-fitting pads and a helmet. If you don't have the right equipment available, sit out until you do. Check with the coaches to see if you need any of the following:
- Mouth guard
- Protective cups for boys
- Shin guards
- Protective goggles
Teach your kids about warming up
Before taking the field or court, stretching and low-impact exercises are crucial. Warming up prepares the body for activity by loosening the muscles and raising the heart rate.
Play by the rules
Rules are not just for fairness in competition. They also keep the participants safe. For example, in football, players should not aim for the opponent's head when tackling. If you, as the parent, are unsure of the rules for a particular sport, don't be afraid to ask the coach. This will help you mentor your child.
Beware of others
Remind your kid of the other children on the playing field. For example, in baseball, encourage your child to call out for a fly ball before catching it to avoid a collision. Teaching the young to communicate with teammates keeps everyone safe.
Sit out when injured
No one wants to miss out, but playing on an injury only compounds the damage. As parent, you should recognize when your athlete is not 100 percent. Take notice when you child favors one leg, exhibits stiffness in joints, doesn't sleep well, winces when using a body part or is weak.
When injuries happen, the Emergency Department at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point is ready to help. Our skilled professionals treat many injuries from extremity trauma to spinal injuries. During non-emergencies, if you would like to request a physician referral, please call our free Consult-A-Nurse® service at 1-888-741-5119.