More than 46.5 million children play sports in the United States each year, and 1 in 3 of the kids who play team sports get injured enough to miss out on participating. Common injuries for kids in sports include ligament sprains, muscle strains, bone and growth plate bone fractures, and overuse injuries associated with repetitive motion sports.
Thankfully, there are plenty of preventive measures you can take. Our team at Pediatric Sports and Spine Associates in Grapevine, Texas, want you to know how to prevent your kids from getting any of these common injuries this season.
Children are not just little adults. Because they are still growing, some of their injuries can lead to long term issues.. Here are 10 tips for how you can work to prevent injuries when your child is participating in sports this season.
Most sports have some sort of equipment to help your child play safely, such as helmets, knee and elbow pads, or certain shoes. It’s important to know well in advance what kind of gear your child needs in order to make sure it’s the right kind and that it fits properly before the season starts.
In order to make sure that your child’s muscles are strengthened, it’s important for them to participate in pre-season conditioning. For example, strengthening the muscles around the knee has been shown to reduce the risk of ACL tears.
A combination of static and dynamic stretches help keep your child’s muscles loose and flexible. Stretching and warming up are great ways to lower the risk for injury.
Before the season starts, make sure your child is well aware of the rules of the game and how to play their sport properly and safely. The right movements and techniques will help to prevent injuries.
Your child’s body needs time to rest and recover after a lot of movement and exercise. Encourage your child to take plenty of breaks during games and to carve out at least one day a week to get sufficient rest.
Heat-related illnesses are common, especially for outdoor sports on hot and humid days. Your child needs to consume plenty of fluids before, after, and during practices and games to avoid dehydration or heatstroke.
Promote cross-training and rest to reduce continuous strain and stress on your child’s muscles. Muscle strains and growth plate overuse syndromes are common causes of sports-related pain syndromes your child can prevent by avoiding overuse of their muscles.
Make sure and talk with your child about not trying to tough out any pain. Pain is a signal that something is wrong and it shouldn’t be ignored. This can cause more severe injury or long-term health issues that can sometimes have a lasting impact.
Kids might feel a lot of pressure to perform well. With a healthy view of sportsmanship and enjoyment of the game–rather than just winning–it will help them avoid pushing themselves to the point of injury.
Make sure a team of adults are in charge of the sporting practice or game to ensure the kids are playing with proper form, hydrating well, and taking necessary steps to prevent injury.
Even if you take all these precautions, there’s still a chance that your child will suffer an injury of some sort.
If that does happen, Pediatric Sports and Spine Associates is ready to help your child recover quickly and completely.
If you’d like more information on sports injuries or your child needs help recovering from a sports-related injury, call our office at 817-904-9135 or request an appointment online today.