Community Magazine

Sports Safety Guide for Parents

By Jean Campbell

Most of us recognize the benefits of our children playing sports. It is a great way for children to build self esteem , develop social skills and be physically fit through regular exercise.  We also know that hand in hand with playing a sport comes the risk of a sports-related injury.

logo of Safe Kids USAAccording Safe Kids USA (www.safekids.org) each year more than 3.5 million children and adolescents playing sports sustain a sport-related injury that requires medical attention.

Safe Kids describes these athletic injuries  as ranging from something mild such as ankle sprains and muscle strains to  severe injuries such as concussions or heat illness.

Experts say that many sports-related injuries occurring in games and practices are likely preventable. So how can we keep our children safe while playing a sport?

Safe Kids USA advises us to learn what we need to know to keep our kids safe when playing sports by focusing on:

  • Pre-participation Physical Evaluations – Make sure your child gets an annual physical screening before playing sports
  • Concussion Prevention, Recognition and Response- Concussions are a brain injury. Know the signs of a concussion! Most concussions do not cause a loss of consciousness – do a search and check out Concussion Fact Sheet for Parents at www.safekids.org
  • Acute and Overuse Injury Prevention - learn what causes overuse and acute injuries and what can be done to prevent them
  • Heat Illness Prevention – Children often dehydrate before they show any symptoms of dehydration . Encourage your child to drink before, during and after playing sports

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