Now that the school year is well on its way, kids and teens are enjoying spending their time playing sports. Sports can bring joy and happiness to kids and teens not only because they are participating in something they love, but they also get to spend a little extra time with their friends. However, sports also involves the risk of getting hurt and injured, especially if you do not take preventative measures.
Tips to Prevent Sports Injuries
- Talk with your child and make sure they understand the importance of letting you or their coach know if they are experiencing pain or if something just doesn’t feel right. Pushing through the pain can only lead to something more serious.
- Get a pre-season physical. This can determine if your child is fit to play and assess any areas of concern. Discovering anything concerning can prevent them from further injuring a condition that is already present.
- Encourage cross-training and a variety of sports. It is important to change sports so your child is not putting stress on the same muscles and joints over and over again.
- Talk with your child about the importance of warming up. Stretching is a vital technique in preventing injuries. Stretching should include both static and dynamic exercises to help loosen the muscles. Static exercises are where you hold the position for a certain amount of time, such as toe touches. Dynamic exercises are where you continue to move while stretching, such as jumping jacks.
- Be sure your child rests. If they do not get the proper amount of sleep, their muscles may not receive the right amount of time to recover, causing them to become fatigued. This in turn can cause your child to be predisposed to an injury. Planning an offseason for your child is also a good preventative measure. Having an offseason will allow your child time to recuperate before the next season.
- Make sure your child is eating a healthy, well-balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. They also need to maintain a regular eating schedule, such as eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the same time every day.
- Stress the importance of staying hydrated, especially during hot and humid days. Make sure they are drinking enough water before, during, and after play and keep an eye out for any heat-related illnesses such as fatigue, nausea, vomiting, confusion, or fainting.
- Invest in the proper equipment, such as helmets, pads, and shoes. These items are extremely important in order to prevent an injury. Talk to your child’s coach before the season starts to make sure you have everything they need.
- Emphasize the proper technique and guidelines for your child’s sport. Every sport has a right way and wrong way of doing certain things.
- Pay attention to signs of an injury and get help early. If you notice your child is limping when running or throwing differently, then he or she needs to sit out from playing. If the issues continue, you need to get your child assessed before they return to play.
When to See a Doctor
If your child is experiencing any of the following, then it is time to see your doctor.
- Continuous pain during or after sports
- New or persistent swelling around a joint
- Recurrent instability of the joints
- Painful pops
- Pain that continues after a period of rest
As a parent, you never want to see your child in pain. However, sometimes the inevitable happens even if you take all of the preventative measures. If your child has suffered from a sports-related injury and you are in search of professional care, contact North County Pain Relief. Our expert staff would be happy to speak with you about what the best course of action is for your child. Call us today at (314) 731-4201 to make an appointment so we can get started on the road to your child’s recovery.