Youth Sports Safety Month: Keep Kids Safe When They’re Active

We’ve covered the importance of family fitness many times. Getting your children involved in physical activities at a young age is a great way to promote fitness, improve coordination, build communication and teamwork skills, and more.

It is key to note, though, that when kids participate in sports, they are at some risk for sports-related injuries, especially since their bodies are still growing and have weaker spots. While most often these injuries are minor, some do cause more lasting physical damage, which is why it’s vital to understand the basic of youth sports safety.

April is officially Youth Sports Safety Month. In honor of that designation, here are some TITLE tips for ensuring your little athletes follow the youth sports safety rules.

The Basics on Youth Sports Safety

Gear Up

TITLE Boxing Club | Youth Sports Safety Month: Keep Kids Safe When They’re Active

The first rule of youth sports safety is to provide properly-fitting protective gear for your children. Your kids’ coach, team sports league, or instructor should have insight and specific directions when it comes to picking what gear is necessary (and what brand of gear is deemed the best). Depending on the sport, you may need to purchase helmets, mouthguards, eye protection, knee, wrist, or elbow guards, or a protective cup for boys. Having the proper foot gear is key, too –  for baseball, soccer, softball, or football, your kids should use cleats so that their feet properly grip the ground.

Protective gear should be replaced when it is no longer the correct size or when it is worn out. Also, make sure your child knows the importance of wearing their gear during practice and play. Youth sports safety also involves educating your children.

Visit the Doctor Before & After Each Season

Just like older athletes, your kids should get a pre-season physical before they start playing. By consulting a doctor, you’ll know if your children have any weak spots or prior injuries that could put them at greater risk. Fill your kids’ coaches and instructors in on the details, especially if they are vulnerable to injury and need to adjust their play.

We also recommend visiting the doctor after the season has wrapped so that you can see how the physical activity has impacted them. It’s particularly important to get medical attention when your child is injured or complains of a persistent symptom. Doctors understand youth sports safety and can recommend a treatment plan based on their specific injury.

Always Warm Up

Another key to youth sports safety is ensuring that your kids warm up before they practice or play. Obviously, their coach or instructor will also have a hand in carrying out this youth sports safety rule, but even when your kids are practicing at home, they should warm up. Talk to your kiddos about the importance of preparing their muscles for exercise with light jogging and stretching. You can provide a timer so that they know they’ve warmed up enough.

Don’t Pressure

Our last tip for youth sports safety? Don’t pressure your child to play if they don’t feel comfortable or physically able to do so. When kids feel they can’t compete, they might press themselves too hard, overcompensating and resulting in injury.

It goes without saying that child who is injured, ill, or fatigued should not participate in sports until they have recovered. Talk to your child’s doctor about treatment and a recovery timeline, and always get their approval before your child returns to play. Participating in physical activity before fully healing can lead to a more damaging and lasting injury.

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