For your child, participating in sports can help promote a healthy level of activity as well as a place to properly socialize and learn the meaning of teamwork. However, accidents can happen at any time, leading to injuries in sports from T-Ball and soccer to more high-contact activities like touch football. Because your child’s body is still developing, they may be more susceptible to bone breaks and torn ligaments than an adult, though they will see quicker recovery times. Though accidents may still happen, there are several ways you can go about preventing your children from getting hurt while still having fun and participating.

Following the Rules

Your child may not know the rules of the sport during their initial practices and games, but taking the time to teach them is critical to preventing injury. The rules are made to keep accidents to a minimum, putting regulations on contact and technique. If you are coaching or a parent to a child on the team, consistently going over the rules until each player knows them can help prevent mid-game accidents.

Stretching

Properly stretching before each practice or games help prepare each muscle group before extensive periods of activity. Dynamic stretches encourage blood flow and relax the muscles, allowing for full flexibility and preventing stiffness during play. Stiffness can lead to improper motions, leading to injury. Following stretching exercises is important and helps increase the amount of time your child is able to play comfortably. During the game, it is also important to make sure your child does not overdo it, working their muscles and bodies too much and causing fatigue. If your child begins to complain of pain or exhaustion, pull them out for a period of rest. Acute injuries including fractures are more common as fatigue takes over, which can lead to mistakes in movement that cause collisions or improper falls.

Stay Hydrated

In addition to regulating your body temperature during physical activity on hotter days, drinking plenty of water helps joints, muscles and blood vessels work properly. Hydrating before and after stretching, as well as throughout the game or practice can help prevent confusion and muscle fatigue. Lack of hydration can also lead to reduced coordination, leading to falls and other accidents.

Getting a Sports Physical Before the Season

Before the season even begins, make sure your child is ready for the season by bringing them to AFC Urgent Care West Orange for a sports physical. A physician will be able to go over your child’s health and vaccination history, bringing them up to date on any necessary shots. Your doctor will also perform a physical examination to check for any pre-existing injuries or conditions that may affect their ability to play safely.

Is your child getting ready to start spring or summer athletics? Visit AFC Urgent Care West Orange for a sports physical and any injury treatment throughout the season.