Children are more susceptible to sports injuries as compared to adults because they’re still developing and growing.
The risk for sustaining injuries is even greater if your child plays a contact sport like football. Because of its’ violent nature and the number of people in a game, football is actually the leading cause of kids’ sports injuries. Apart from minor pains and aches, some of the more common football injuries include, but not limited to; knee injuries, ankle sprains, concussions and shoulder injuries. Fortunately, many of the football injuries can be prevented. To help avoid injuries, we have compiled some tips on how to keep your children safe while playing football;
1. Proper Safety Equipment
The first step towards keeping kids safe from injuries is making sure they wear properly fitting, safety equipment. This can include a helmet, thigh guards, shoulder pads, a cup and a mouthguard. When purchasing the safety equipment, bring your kid with you, so that they can get to try on the gear. By doing this, the gear will fit them comfortably, whilst giving them a range of motion they’ll need while playing. And if the gear is worn properly and fits right, it will greatly reduce the possibility of injuries. Make sure you regularly inspect the protective gear to ensure everything is in good shape.
2. Staying Hydrated
The body needs to stay well hydrated so as to prevent dehydration. This is particularly important when it’s hot out. It has been proven that staying well hydrated actually helps improve an athlete’s health. Encourage your child to take frequent breaks to drink some fresh water during games or practice. Doing this reduces the possibility of overheating, fatigue and cramps.
3. Warm Up
To ensure your child doesn’t pull a muscle or injure him/herself, proper stretching and warm up is very important. Cold muscles tend to increase the chances of injuries, so it is important for your child does not skip the warm ups, whether it is just a practice, or it is the big game. Warm up releases muscle tension, which makes it easier for the limbs to move and keeps them limber, hence preventing injuries. Focus on the knees, hips, calves, and thighs.
4. Recognize the Signs of Injury
Injuries are not always obvious, therefore it is very important for parents to be able to easily recognize the signs of an injury. It is also important to encourage your child to report any kind of injury to you. Kids might be hesitant to report an injury if they feel that it might result in them being excluded from the game; it is crucial they know that the sooner an injury is reported, the more quickly it’ll be addressed.
Quick treatment of a sports injury helps prevent it from becoming much more severe, or causing a permanent damage. You should seek immediate medical help if your child experiences any kind of swelling, has a broken bone, or has severe pain in any part of the body.
If your child unfortunately gets injured while playing, take him/her and seek medical help immediately; do not encourage your child to keep playing with an injury.
If you live in the Bay Area, and your child has suffered a knee or shoulder sports injury while practicing or playing sports, you should contact Dr. Jeffrey Halbrecht M.D.
Dr. Halbrecht and his team of medical experts, bring great skill and experience to the treatment of all kinds of sports injuries.
Call us at 415-923-0944 or use our contact form.