It’s our job as adults to keep the children around us safe. Safety is especially challenging when children are participating in more high-risk activities, such as sports. Sports come with certain dangers that are to be expected and may not be within our control, but there are some steps to take to help prevent injuries as much as possible.
Use Safety Equipment
Each sport has its own recommended safety equipment. Rather it’s a helmet, pads, or another safety tool, be sure your child is using what’s recommended for their sport. Talk with their coach to make sure everything is fitting correctly and up to the current safety standards. Things like shin guards, mouth guards, and helmets are especially prone to wearing down over time. If the safety equipment is becoming noticeably dated, it’s probably time to replace.
The occurrence of muscle strains and sprains can be significantly reduced with some light stretching for at least 10 minutes before your child begins playing. Without stretching, their muscles will be tight and more likely to become injured if your child takes a turn too quickly. If your child is in organized sports, ask their coach if children are invited to stretch before every practice.
Prepare the Child
Don’t send your child onto the field to play a sport if they don’t know the game. They should understand how the game is played, how to play it safely, and what steps to take if they think they’ve become injured. This is no different than signing your child up for swimming classes before you toss them into a pool! Coaches often use training and warm-up sessions to help the kids learn everything they need to know before they’re able to participate in a scrimmage or game.
Most importantly, there should always be an adult supervising when children play sports. Adults can step in if children become too aggressive or if they see a child missing their safety equipment. Only enroll your child in group activities that guarantee a commitment to safety and supervision. One of the supervisors should be CPR and first aid certified if they’re going to be overseeing a game or practice.
Preventing childhood injury can be done in a variety of ways, but it will be most effective if you use all of these methods together. Start the conversation between you, your child, and other adults who can help keep them safe today!