Sports activities offer great opportunity for children to hone their physical and psychological skills. Apart from giving children great enjoyment and fun, sports increases a child’s self-esteem, fitness, and physical coordination. Children also learn many important life values such as self-discipline, teamwork, respect for others, managing success and disappointment, and fair play.
Although engaging in sports is beneficial for children, it also poses some risks. It is essential that you know sports safety in order to make sports more enjoyable for your child.
Children have relatively poor motor skills and coordination that make them more susceptible to sports-related injuries. It is estimated that around 2.6 million children under 19 receive emergency care at hospitals for sports-related injuries every year. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are some of the most serious and common health conditions that result from sports accidents, affecting an estimated 1.7 million people each year. Aside from TBIs, other frequent injuries in children include fractures, sprains and strains, and overuse. Dislocation, wounds, cuts, and bruises are most common among very young children. Standard first aid and CPR training can be of good help in preparing you to any incident may take place in the future.
Although there is no such thing as the most dangerous sports, many sports and recreational activities that involve contact and collision appear to cause more accidents. Basketball, football, soccer and ice hockey are some of the sports that frequently lead to injuries, but so can other sports, such as: baseball, bicycling, trampolines, gymnastics, and scooter use. You can also take some time to find for CPR courses online and check what are the benefits you can get.
Here are a few reminders about how you can prevent sports-related injuries in children:
- Use appropriate protective gear. There are different protective gears designed for specific sport, such as helmets, mouth guards, knee and wrist protectors, and shin guards. The sports gear must also fit properly and comfortable for the wearer.
- Learn the sports first. Make sure the child gets adequate training and learns safety rules before participating in any sporting activity.
- Be physically fit for the sports. Not all children are physically fit for certain sports. Check with your child’s doctor what sports are appropriate for the child’s health. This is particularly true for children with special health needs.
- Engage in age-appropriate sports. Children develop certain skill sets as they grow. There are different games and sports that are appropriate for children at specific age bracket. Make sure to match your child’s activity with his physical development and maturity level.
- Warm up before and cool down after. It is important to have warm up session before and cool down session after engaging in sports. This prepares the child’s body for more strenuous activities, thereby preventing potential injuries and discomforts such as cramping.
- Increase fluid intake. When a child is engaged in sports, parents should make sure that the child is properly hydrated. They should drink at least one cup of water every 20 minutes. Children should also use proper attire to prevent excessive loss of water. Without increased fluid intake, dehydration can result.