Many of us here at Happy Backyards™ Nashville have kiddos who play sports. And while it is a great way to teach many different life skills including team work and dedication, it can also be a place for injuries. Whether it is the football field, soccer field, hockey rink or just shooting hoops in your own driveway, preventing injury is an important topic for all parents. Here are a few tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics on keeping your kids safe during sports:
- Time off. Plan to have at least 1 day off per week form a particular sport to allow the body to recover.
- Wear the right gear. Players should wear appropriate and properly fit protective equipment such as pads (neck, shoulder, elbow, chest, knee, shin), helmets, mouthpieces, face guards, protective cups, and/or eyewear. Young athletes should not assume that protective gear will protect them from performing more dangerous or risky activities.
- Strengthen muscles. Conditioning exercises before games and during practice strengthens muscles used in play.
- Increase flexibility. Stretching exercises before and after games or practice can increase flexibility.
- Use the proper technique. This should be reinforced during the playing season.
- Take breaks. Rest periods during practice and games can reduce injuries and prevent heat illness.
- Play safe. Strict rules against headfirst sliding (baseball and softball), spearing (football), and body checking (ice hockey) should be enforced.
- Stop the activity if there is pain.
- Avoid heat injury by drinking plenty of fluids before, during and after exercise or play; decrease or stop practices or competitions during high heat/humidity periods; wear light clothing.
Best of luck this season to all the kids sports teams in Williamson County!
Share your team’s victories with us on our Facebook page. We love to see those smiling faces after a win!!