YOU Magazine - August 2018 - Preventing Injuries for Sporty Kids
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Fred Gruber     Fred Gruber
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First Rate Financial Group
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Preventing Injuries for Sporty Kids

Preventing Injuries for Sporty Kids

While injuries are a potential part of playing sports, it's essential for kids to take injury prevention seriously, so they can enjoy a lifetime of exercise, not just a season or two. Help keep your budding athlete from becoming sidelined with these tips.

Preseason physicals are the best way to ensure children are healthy enough for activities and to assess any areas of concern that might lead to injuries during play. Before each school year or sport season begins, schedule a physical checkup with your pediatrician.

Suffering is not a sport. Sports can help develop mental toughness, however, make sure to clarify that pushing through acute physical pain of any kind is not expected. Explain to your children that this can lead to more serious conditions that could remove them from playing for much longer.

Stretch like a pro. Warmups prepare the body for physical exertion, making kids more agile and efficient once play begins. Experts suggest a balance of both static stretches (where you hold a position, such as a toe touch or lunge) and dynamic stretches (where the body is moving, such as jumping jacks or walking lunges) to warm and loosen muscles and tendons for action.

Explain the pillars of fitness: food, water, rest. Poor diet, dehydration, lack of sleep and muscle fatigue predispose kids to injury. Make sure to train proper eating and hydration habits and plan offseason activities that give adequate time to recuperate.

Cross-training is key for the development of overall fitness goals. It also helps avoid repetitive stress on the same muscle groups and joints, overuse injuries and long-term debilitations. Encouraging participation in a variety of sports and activities, instead of exclusive focus on one, can help.

Learn to recognize injury. Minor injuries can progress, and serious injuries left untreated can get worse or create additional issues. Remove your child from play and get a doctor's assessment if you notice any of the following:
  • Changes in technique, such as a limp or awkward throwing
  • Holding or rubbing a leg or elbow during activity
  • Consistent mentions of pain during or after play
  • Persistent or new swelling around a joint, or joints that "give way"
  • Painful pops
  • Pain that does not respond to rest
These tips will keep young athletes fit and ready for a lifetime of fun.

Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine


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