Between Physical Education classes at school, after-school teams, weekend teams, and sports camps, lots of kids are taking part in a lot of sport all year round. While sports are of course great for physical fitness and to help your kids learn useful skills like discipline and teamwork, all that time being active can also mean that your child has a higher risk of a sports-related injury. To make sure your child keeps safe while they play and avoids unpleasant injuries, try some of these tips.
Talk With Your Child
If your child is a budding athlete or sportsman, spend some time talking to them to make sure that they understand how important it is they tell you or their coach if they are experiencing any kind of pain, discomfort, or even something just not feeling right. They should be taking part in sports and activities that are comfortable for them and don’t cause any pain, but some children and teens might be tempted to try to tough it out and push through any pain when they shouldn’t. If an injury is left without help, it can lead to a more serious issue that could have been avoided with earlier intervention.
Encourage Cross-Training And A Variety Of Sports
If your child really loves a particular sport and spends a lot of time playing it, it can be challenging to convince them to do anything else. If they’re playing on a weekend team, their school team, and practicing at home, this can put a lot of stress on the same muscles and joints. This is why professional sportsmen change up the activities that they do in order to cross-train. Try to limit your child from playing on multiple teams in the same sport, encourage them to try other things, and make sure they switch up their routine. Remind them that professional sports players and athletes do this in order to improve their game, so they should too. As well as their main sport, they could also do things like swimming, or cycling.
Stress The Importance Of Warming Up
One of the most effective ways to prevent injury is stretching. This should be a habit for all athletes before they start a sport or activity, even for young children. A mix of static and dynamic stretches work the best during a warmup to loosen up the muscles, raise the heart rate, and prepare the body for activity. Show your child how to do toe touches and stretches where they hold the position for a certain amount of time (these are static stretches), and some dynamic stretches where the body continues to move, such as jumping jacks.
When To See A Doctor For A Sports Injury
There are some signs to be aware of that suggest an injury has occurred. If you notice any of these, it’s time to take your child to see their doctor or a chiropractor.
- Consistent pain during or after playing sports
- Persistent or new swelling around a joint
- Recurrent instability – joints giving way
- Painful pops (nonpainful pops are nothing to worry about)
- Pain that doesn’t improve after rest