Encouraging your child to play sports is a great way to keep them active, make new friends and get them focused on something other than electronics. While no parent, or coach, wants to see a child get injured during practice or the game, student athlete injuries do happen.
According to SafeKids.com:
- More than 46.5 million children participate in sports each year in the United States
- One in three children who plays a team sport is injured seriously enough to miss practice or games
- Girls are up to eight times more likely to have an ACL injury than boys
- Most organized sports-related injuries (62 percent) occur during practice rather than in games
- The most common types of sports-related injuries among children are sprains, muscle strains, bone or growth plate injuries, repetitive motion injuries and heat-related illness
How To Prevent Common Student Athlete Injuries
There is no guaranteed way to keep an injury from ever happening, but there are steps you can take to keep minimize the risk of an injury including:
- Proper warm up and stretching before practice prepares muscles and helps flexibility, blood flow to the muscles and provides and increased range of motion. While there is some debate about stretching cold muscles, research indicates stretching after a 5-10 minute warm up will lead to fewer injuries than stretching cold muscles.
- Don’t ignore pain – If your child says they are in pain during or after playing sports you need to pay attention and ask questions. It could be soreness, which can be expected after starting a new sport or after an intense practice. Muscle soreness is at its worst 1-3 days after the activity. The muscles may feel tight or tender but usually feel better after walking around or stretching. If your child describes pain that is sharp or does not go away after resting for several days this may be a sign of an injury. Ignoring pain and continuing to practice or play in the game can aggravate the injury and lead to further damage or recovery time.
- Wearing the right equipment is simple but can go a long way to prevent injury. Running with worn out or improper fitting shoes or not wearing protective gear during impact sports like soccer or football is just a recipe for an injury.
Treating Common Sports Injuries
Read more about easing knee pain, shoulder injuries or G2 Orthopedics.