What was your favorite sport as a kid? Whether you were you’re a basketball star, tennis player, or track and field athlete, you can probably remember a few times of coming home sore or maybe even getting injured. All sports carry a risk of injury, but with the right preparation you can learn how to prevent youth sport injuries to make sure your child is always playing safe.
1) Don’t Play Through Pain
Remember the old adage “walk it off.” Although we try to train our kids in toughness, this is not the place for it. Pain is a sign that something is wrong and if doesn’t subside after a few moments, then it is a time to take a rest. Otherwise, you risk turning a strain or sprain into something much more serious. Instead, they need to do the proper stretches, have some water, and rest.
2) Take Some Time Off
On the note of not playing through pain, every athlete needs to schedule at least one day off per week per sport and one month off per year of serious training. Children’s bodies are different and to promote the best youth athletic development, a little break from training can actually have the best physical and emotional results.
3) Increase Flexibility
Better flexibility is associated with reduced injury risk. Athletes who routinely stretch before and after their workouts are up to 47% less likely to get hurt either during their sport or during training. One of the best ways to get your child stretching is to make it fun. There is a variety of fun stretches you can do together to make sure both of you stay limber.
4) Strengthen Muscles
Overall fitness should be a top priority for youth fitness. Even if your child truly excels in one sport, one of the best ways for them to stay in shape and even increase their skills is to make sure there are doing conditioning exercises. Anything from strength training to cardio is essential to not only prevent injuries but make sure they are as healthy as can be.
5) Have the Right Equipment
This is where you are really going to need to have some adult supervision. Kids are notoriously bad at wearing things like helmets, wrist guards, mouthpieces, eyewear, and so on. Most sports have their respective protective equipment so educate your child on the importance of wearing one. They don’t need to learn the hard way!
Preventing Injuries and Better Health
Most of the things young athletes can do to prevent sports injuries are all things that are good for them. If they are exercise often, stretch, have the right equipment and take a little time off then you can be sure they will truly be able to enjoy their sport of choice and be ready for any challenge that comes their way—on and off the field!