Come back to school season, urgent healthcare sees child athletes come in with everything from minor injuries to major concussions and fractures. Sports injuries are often simply accidental and surprising, but many children’s injuries from sports are, in fact, preventable. Here are some ways you can prevent unnecessary injuries to your child when they’re participating in school athletics.
Book an Appointment With Their Pediatrician for a Pre-season Physical
Addressing any potential health issues your child is experiencing before they’re aggravated by sports is the best preventative. Kids tend to be great at ignoring body irregularities or subtle pains, so a check-up with their pediatrician or other medical professional is a good way to prod for issues early.
Avoid Hand-Me-Down Protective Equipment
Helmets and padding are very important, but they also need to be sturdy and the correct fit to be effective. They can be expensive to purchase brand new, which is unfortunate. If your child has access to hand-me-down equipment like helmets, use with extreme caution. Any piece of equipment should be in top-notch shape with no broken or worn down pieces, and should fit your child perfectly.
Encourage Them to Cross-Train
Using the same muscles and joints over and over for intense athletic activity can be damaging for growing children and teens. Encourage children to change up the kind of activity they’re doing and cross-train to give overworked muscles a rest.
Emphasize Their Well-being Over Sports
For some kids’ bodies and schedules, sports can be overwhelming. Make sure your child’s plate isn’t too full. If they come down with common seasonal illnesses like the flu, prioritize their recovery over sports participation. You don’t want your child to be one of the 200,000 Americans who are hospitalized with flu complications each year. Without proper sleep, good meals, and a balanced amount of homework, your child’s body can easily become stressed, leading to anxiety, illness, and more sports injuries.
If An Injury Occurs, Get Help Right Away
Remember we mentioned that kids are great at playing through injuries? When you are suspicious they may have even a sprain or minor injury, don’t let them play through it. Get it properly treated, even seeking professionals at your local urgent care for quick help if you need it.
One last thing we haven’t mentioned yet: communicate often with your child. If they have the chance to alert you to pains, stresses, and concerns, then you can treat them as soon as possible. Give them the tools to communicate honestly about their sports and school experience, and you’ll notice they quickly have a better sense of well-being.