Conditioning and training are getting underway to prepare for fall sports. Have you done all you can to ensure your athlete stays protected from unnecessary injury while getting back into action?
Whether your child or teen is involved in track, volleyball, water polo, football, soccer, or cheerleading; suffering from injury is always a possibility during practices and competitions.
If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to inspect all safety gear and ensure it still fits properly and is in quality condition.
While high school-level football conveys the greatest risks of head injury for boys and soccer is the main cause for girls’ head injuries, other sports pose substantial risks as well. Take some essential steps during preseason to ensure your athlete(s) stay healthy and safe.
Teen Sports: Safety First
Tip 1: Schedule a sports physical- most schools require a physical before your teen can participate in a sport. Ensure you have plenty of time to schedule your teen’s sports physical to avoid missing a deadline that may prevent them from trying out or joining the team.
Tip 2: Update medical history- although sports physicals should involve the discussion of general medical problems, coaches and school nurses should be made aware of your child’s health history.
Tip 3: Ensure their medical ID is current and in good condition- if living with allergies or other underlying health conditions, ensure your child’s medical ID and emergency health record are current. Choose a flexible, sporty ID that won’t get in the way of your athlete’s game.
Tip 4: Encourage the importance of hydration- pre-hydrating before games, drinking fluids every 15-20 minutes while practicing outdoors, and re-hydrating after practice and games is essential, especially during this hot summer heat.
Tip 5: Educate your athlete about the importance of stretching- pre- workout stretching greatly reduces the chance of injury. If your athlete is more flexible then she is less likely to pull or tear a muscle. Warming up before practice and games also helps encourage the flow of blood.
Tip 6- Purchase proper protective gear for your child’s sport- don’t let your child use worn out equipment. A common problem in child athletic programs is a lack of protective equipment. Make sure your athlete has the required equipment necessary such as:
- Supportive shoes
- Safety harnesses
- Mouth guards