As we head into spring and summer, and as the threat of COVID-19 continues to wane, youth sports are picking up again. Recreational leagues, school sports, and summer activities are already in the works, and if you have children, you’re probably already navigating the realm of uniforms, practices, games, and the like. Athletics can be a wonderful way for kids to develop fitness, coordination, social skills, teamwork, and many other things that are important for a healthy life. However, participating in sports always comes with risks!
If your child is participating in sports this year, here are a few tips to keep them safe and sound:
Get full protection
In many sports, there is an element of contact, and this is one of the major sources of injury. Whenever you can, opt for enhanced protective gear and teach your child the importance of wearing it while playing. This gear can include helmets, knee/shoulder/elbow pads, wrist or shin guards, goggles, cups, and more. Whether your child is doing team sports or solo endeavors, make sure they’re geared up with the proper protective gear.
Fuel and hydrate
Sometimes kids get so engrossed in play that they forget to eat and drink. But these are essential for fueling the body and ensuring proper hydration. Pack snacks you know they will enjoy, snacks filled with nutrients like protein and fat. Bring water and another beverage that contains electrolytes, especially if it’s warm outside or your child sweats a lot.
Bring a first-aid kit
While kids can seriously injure themselves in sports, most of the time you’ll only deal with minor injuries that don’t require a trip to the emergency room. This is where a stocked first-aid kit comes in handy. With the right equipment, you can easily handle minor cuts and scrapes.
Use urgent care when needed
No matter how much you prepare, there are times when your kid may need professional medical attention. But instead of the long waits and high prices of the ER, consider going to your local urgent care clinic instead. These facilities can manage a wide range of sports injuries and often have on-site imaging, IV fluids, and more.