Across the nation, sport related injuries are on the rise—and they can contribute to many factors. The physical stress is often too much for the growing bodies of young athletes and wearing the proper safety gear isn’t always enforced. And this just scratches the surface.
Studies have now connected concussions to prolonged participation in football. The condition known as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, or CTE, has led to life-altering physical and mental conditions for many prominent professional athletes. Although sports leagues and schools have sparked nationwide campaigns to help encourage safety in sports at all ages. And though sport related injuries are now on high alert, dangers of suffering injuries are no less alarming. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reported the following:
1.) Football accounted for 1, 0240,022 doctor office, emergency room, and hospital visits
2.) Soccer accounted for 368,726 injuries
3.) Cheerleading caused 75,307 injuries
4.) Gymnastics contributed to 67,542 injuries
This is why parents must get involved to keep young athletes safe, in addition to efforts from programs such as Heads Up Football and our very own, here at Laredo Emergency Room. The following are some simple ways you can help protect your child from injuries:
- 1.) Heart Screenings – Unfortunately, a life of sports is not meant for everyone, especially those of us with heart conditions. It’s never easy to take away something they love, but sometimes that’s the best way to protect our loved ones.
- 2.) Stretching and Warming Up – To help prepare their body for exercise, make sure they loosen their joints and increase their blood flow by stretching. Encourage them to gently prepare for physical activity by warming up.
- 3.) Playing with Kids Their Age – Your child can be as large as an older kid and still not as physically mature. Letting them play with them may be too big of a risk and literal hit to take.
- 4.) Avoiding Excessive Fatigue – Some schools of thought have suggested fatigue contributes to sports-related injuries. Until the cause and correlation are clear, we should not let our children over-extend themselves.
- 5.) Buying the Right Shoes – Running routes on wet grass in sneakers is an injury waiting to happen. Investing in the right shoes can help keep them out of our ER and on the playing field!
- 6.) Staying Hydrated – Losing just 1% of their body’s water content can increase the likelihood of injury.
- 7.) Avoiding Playing while Injured – When not under profession sports contract, playing injured should be out of the question. Let them heel before they get back on the field.
- 8.) Watching Their Temperature – Combining sports with temperatures in the upper 90’s too 100’s can equal a heat stroke. In the summer, at its hottest, young athletes face the most significant risk.
- 9.) Consuming Nutritious Foods – Sports injuries can often be a sign of nutritional imbalances. Help avoid the problem by preparing pre-workout-foods that have a healthy balance of proteins, carbs, and calories.
- 10.) Joining a Team Sport – Youth sports participation can not only help improve your child’s health and physical fitness, but can also boost their self-esteem, and improve their leadership skills!