How to Prevent Sports Injuries in Children
How can parents prevent sports injuries in children? We bring you five top tips that can prevent sports injuries in your little one.
By Ashwin Dewan
Injuries are part of the game, but sometimes we can avoid them by just practising our techniques – Troy Vincent
Although playing sports provides many physical and social benefits, it can also cause injuries. Injuries are a part and parcel of sports. If top-level sportsmen can suffer injuries, then the chances of children getting injured are significantly high. Children love to play games. But usually they do not use high-quality equipment or follow rules, which makes them more susceptible to injuries. This article lists some great tips for parents to follow that will prevent their children from getting injured while playing.
1. Always warm up before playing any sport
This is an important tip that all parents should teach their children. A warm up essentially consists of certain light exercises such as walking or jogging combined with stretches. A good warm up plays a vital role in preventing injury as it increases the heart rate, increases circulation to different parts of the body and mentally prepares the child for the physical activity to follow. The benefits of a warm up are many:
- Increases muscle efficiency
- Reduces the likelihood of muscle pulls
- Lessens post-exercise muscle soreness
The duration and intensity of the warm up depends on the weather conditions and the amount of clothes worn.
2. Wear the proper equipment/gear
Can you play cricket without a helmet or football without proper football boots? The answer is NO. Wearing the right sports gear is important to prevent sports injuries in children. The gear depends on the sport you are playing. In fact, there are many contact sports such as football, hockey, rugby, etc. that can prove fatal if the child is not equipped properly. Parents should check whether all sporting equipment such as the helmet, pads, boots and elbow pads fit the child properly.
3. Eat a diet rich in nutrients
Eating a diet rich in nutrients is as important as wearing the proper sports gear. Diet plays a huge role in making children fit for the sport they choose to play because playing burns energy and a poor diet will result in the child getting tired easily and increase the risk of injury.
A balanced diet consisting of carbohydrates, proteins and fats will ensure the child remains energetic and injury-free.
Note: Along with a healthy diet, it is also important for children to drink plenty of fluids, preferably water while playing to ensure that they stay hydrated.
4. Know the rules of the game
Children are less likely to suffer injuries if they know the rules of the game beforehand. Parents can follow this simple method to teach young children the importance of following game rules, per kidshealth.org. It says that you can use the traffic light signal as a reference – just as traffic lights at different points help prevent crashes and, at the same time, drivers who do not follow these lights suffer from injuries, in the playground, not following rules will result in injuries.
For instance, if children are familiar with the rules of football, they know that it is against the rules to crash into a player’s legs or steal a ball from behind. Awareness of rules results in less injuries.
5. Get plenty of rest when injured
In their quest to ensure their children remain injury-free, parents purchase the best equipment and provide a rich diet, but forget that rest after injury is also essential to prevent injuries in children.
Children love to play and often tend to rush back home without wanting to know the extent of their injury. This might prove extremely harmful. It can only aggravate the injury.
Children should be made to understand that they get their daily quota of sleep as the body needs time to recover after physical activity.
These tips will ensure that your children can play with a reduced risk for injuries and you can worry less as they scamper across the field to catch a ball.
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