Playing sports improves health, increases stamina, and enhances a child’s self-esteem. However, parents must do all they can to help their children avoid athletic injuries, which have an impact on and off the playing field. Here are a few tips to keep your child safe when playing sports.
How Can I Help My Children Prevent Athletic Injuries?
1. Choose the Right Safety Gear
From helmets to pads, safety gear keeps kids safe when playing sports. Make sure you know the proper gear for your child’s sport of choice and be sure to replace safety equipment if it becomes worn out. Eye protection is also crucial, especially when playing baseball or hockey.
2. Emphasize the Importance of Warming Up & Cooling Down
Stretching before and after games and practice is an absolute must. Stretching before keeps muscles flexible, which reduces the risk of injury. Stretching after speeds up the healing process and decreases stress in the muscles.
3. Provide Healthy Meals
The food your child eats provides fuel for his or her sporting activities. Lean proteins, whole grains, and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables are best for budding athletes, so focus meals on those essential items.
4. Make Sure Your Child Drinks Plenty of Water
Hydration is a must, especially when your child is playing outdoors on hot days. Kids should begin drinking water up to 20 minutes before the start of an activity and should continue to drink water for the duration of the activity. Be careful with sports drinks, however, as they have a lot of sugar.
5. Schedule a Physical
A physical ensures your child is healthy enough for fitness activities, such as sports. They can also identify any potential problems and prevent them from getting worse during the season. It’s recommended that parents schedule a sports physical each year.
While preventing injuries in young athletes is crucial, you should also know how to get treatment for sports injuries. In Alabama, Physical Therapy of Andalusia treats a wide range of injuries and medical conditions to get you back on your feet again. When it comes to athletic injuries, we treat back and neck pain, as well as improve function via physical therapy and rehab. Schedule an appointment by calling (334) 222-5785 today and take advantage of the nearly four decades of experience offered by our pain clinic. You can also check out our patient resources page online to prepare for your appointment.