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How to Help Your Kids Minimize Sports Injuries


How to Help Your Kids Minimize Sports Injuries

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At the beginning of the school year, many children and teens explore their options with sports. While there are many good things about team sports, it’s understandable for parents to be concerned about the possibility of injuries that may affect bones, joints, and related structures. Realistically, sprains, strains, and ligament tears aren’t always avoidable. But there are ways you can help your kids reduce their risk of sustaining sports injuries.

Schedule Pre-Season Physicals

Physicals before your kids’ particular sports starts again can determine whether or not there are issues with their musculoskeletal system that may require attention before they start practicing or playing. Pre-season exams are especially important if your child has existing orthopedic issues that may limit their flexibility or mobility or increase their injury risk.

Encourage Participating In a Variety of Sports

The potential problem with being exclusively devoted to one sport is the continuous stress placed on muscles, especially ones supporting the lower back. If the soft tissues, joints, and bones are stressed, there’s also an increased risk of repetitive stress injuries or inflammation-based conditions that may affect nearby nerves. Encourage your kids to explore different sports throughout the school year so they’re not over-stressing the same areas.

Don’t Let Them Sacrifice Sleep

Even older teens need sufficient rest to allow tissues to naturally heal during the deeper, recuperative stages of sleep. Being well-rested can also reduce the risk of making mistakes with proper form and technique while practicing or playing sports after school. Insufficient sleep also increases muscle fatigue and makes it more difficult for the body to fight inflammation.

Stress the Importance of Hydration

Growing spines and supporting discs need a steady supply of water. Hydration is also important for young athletes because it improves the circulation of essential nutrients, reduces the risk of muscle spasms, and improves the mental focus and attention that can help prevent injuries. A good way to make sure your kids get enough water is to give them refillable water bottles they can keep within easy reach before, during, and after games.

Additionally, your kids should have sports equipment that’s appropriate for their physical size. This is also true if you have kids who will be playing the same sport again during the next school year. Since children and adolescents go through growth spurts, make sure all of their essential gear still fits properly. Also, encourage your kids to properly warm-up before playing and to get regular exercise between sports seasons to keep key muscle groups sufficiently stimulated.