With the warmer weather here again - for a few months at least - your kids will likely be spending a lot more time outdoors. And that’s a good thing. Being active is essential for kids’ health, both body and mind. Canadians spend an average of $1,000 per child on youth sports every year, the most, per capita, in the world.
But active kids can get injured. Not surprisingly, one in every five kids who is involved in a sport or activity will suffer an injury over the course of a year. A parent may not be able to protect their child from getting hurt occasionally but the following steps can help prevent serious sports injuries.
Use proper equipment
Make sure the equipment is the right size and fits as it should (just because your older child grew out of it, doesn’t mean the equipment is right for the younger child). Of course, most importantly, they should wear protective equipment required by the activity in question. Such as:
- They should be used for any activity that can cause damage to the neck or head, such as bike riding, football, baseball, skateboarding or horseback riding.
- Wear the right ones. Sandals or flip-flops are typically not a good choice for many sports. And some activities require specialty shoes – heed those instructions.
- Mouth guards. They’re especially popular in basketball, football, martial arts, ice or field hockey and lacrosse to keep those teeth intact and to prevent concussions.
- Eye protection or goggles are sometimes needed depending on the game.
A child may be eager to get out there - on the field, in the pool, on the courts - but as a parent you need to make sure they know what they’re doing before they jump in. Understanding the dos and the don’ts, is a good start. Getting some pointers, tips and a few lessons can go a long way.
Take a look at the field where your child is playing baseball or soccer. Is it well-maintained? Or does it have a lot of holes that make it easy to slip and fall? If they’re playing basketball, wooden courts can be less problematic than concrete ones.
No matter your age, getting overheated while playing a sport can be an extremely unpleasant experience. Make sure your children bring enough water with them and that they drink before, during and after they play.
Rest and Mix it Up
It’s always a good idea to take a day off a week from organized sports activities to ensure your body can recover physically and mentally. And, to keep a child’s body strong, experts recommend that they avoid specializing in one specific sport before late adolescence. Otherwise, they may burnout and/or face a greater propensity for injury. So try to encourage your child to try – and enjoy - a number of different sports.
The above steps should help your child avoid serious injuries this season. But, should they have an accident that results in injury, our team at HSH have decades of experience with personal injury matters – and are only one phone call away. If you have any questions about an injury to a child or an adult, please contact personal injury lawyer D. Joel Dick at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-572-3516.
Wishing you and your family a safe, healthy and enjoyable season filled with much outdoor fun.