According to statistics, more than 60 percent of injuries related to sports occur during practice. Roughly 33 percent of parents fail to ensure that their children are taking the proper precautions to protect themselves during practice as they would during a regular game. Sadly, an injury during practice could cause your child to have to sit on the sidelines for the whole season, depending on the severity of that injury. To avoid unnecessary injuries, here are a few safety precautions to take:
Get Your Child a Physical
Most sports, especially those sanctioned by the school, will require that your child undergo a full physical to determine your child's ability to play. A physical is important because it ensures your child is healthy enough to play. This is a parent's first step in avoiding unnecessary injuries and health issues during practice and games.
Make Sure Your Child Has and Wears Proper Safety Gear
Each sport, from boxing to soccer, requires its own form of safety equipment to help prevent severe injuries. Depending on the particular sport, this could mean anything from pads to shield the knees and shins to mouth guards to protect the teeth, tongue and entire mouth. In most sports, the helmet is the most common and critical piece of safety gear.
Warming Up Is Crucial
Although it should be a requirement, some coaches will not have their students stretch and warm up before a practice. However, even though it is just a practice, it is more important than ever to ensure your child takes the time to sufficiently stretch prior to getting on the court, field, etc. Stretching helps prepare the body for moving safely and steadily. Five minutes of stretching could keep your child from suffering a hamstring injury that would keep him from playing for weeks.
Know the Signs of Dehydration
Dehydration is among the most common things for your child to suffer from while practicing. Your child may have a headache, become dizzy, suffer from cramps and even have a bit of confusion if he becomes dehydrated. It's crucial that when these signs become apparent, your child sits down for a few minutes and hydrates. Drinking water prior to, during and following practice can go a long way in preventing dehydration.
Watch Out for Overuse Injuries
Many kids are pushed in practice to be better, which can often result in overuse injuries. Overuse is responsible for roughly half of all sports-related injuries among junior high and high school students. The most common overuse injuries are tendonitis and stress fractures. If your child is suffering from tingling or numbness in a specific area, feeling weakness in the arms or hands, or experiencing soreness or stiffness in the back or neck, then it may be a sign of overuse.
With the right safety precautions, parents can help their child avoid serious injuries during practice. However, if an injury does occur, it is crucial to have your child checked out immediately, even if you don't think it is serious. An urgent care center, such as 24 Hour Urgent Care of the Desert, is quick and easy, and has the ability to treat sports-related injuries.