Welcome back to the Blaine Health & Wellness blog! If you have a young athlete who participates in sports and other recreational activities at school or within the community, you’re probably well aware of the risks involved. According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sports injuries are the leading cause of emergency room visits in children between the ages of 12 and 17. This report also states that close to 80 percent of ER visits among five to fourteen-year-olds are sports-related injuries. Some of the most common sports-related injuries in children include:
- Head, face, eye, and mouth trauma
- Sprains and strains
- Extremity injuries, especially arm, wrist, leg, and ankle injuries
- Broken collar bones
- Neck and back injuries
While you can’t keep your children in a bubble to protect them from being injured while participating in an activity that they love, you can take precautionary steps to protect them from sports injuries. As Blaine’s premier health and wellness center, we provide chiropractic care, physical therapy, and other treatments to people of all ages. Therefore, we can’t stress enough the importance of sports safety among children. Today, let’s explore some tips you can follow to protect your child or adolescent from suffering a sports-related injury.
Communicate With Your Young Athlete
Talk to your child about how they can protect themselves from sports injuries because you can’t always be there when they’re playing. Stress the importance of wearing the proper protective gear, the importance of warming up, and the importance of resting after physical exertion. You can also communicate to them how important it is that they speak up and seek help if they feel pain or discomfort.
Help Prepare Them for Physical Activity
Working together with coaches and DMR clinic specialists, you can guide your child in how to properly warm up for their sport or recreational activity. This includes:
- Feeding them a balanced diet that supplies their growing bodies with the nutrients they need for strong, healthy bones and muscles.
- Showing them how to stretch their muscles before and after physical activities.
- Outfitting them with the proper sports attire and protective gear.
- Familiarizing yourself and your child with first-aid and taping and wrapping techniques.
- Showing them how to inspect their playing surface for possible hazards.
- Familiarizing yourself with post-activity injury prevention such as the RICE Method:
Use Proper Safety Equipment
When it comes to childhood sports, there is no compromising when it comes to their safety. Make sure your child has everything they need to protect their head, extremities, and other regions of the body. Here are some considerations for properly outfitting your child for their chosen sport:
- Helmet with a chin guard, protective eyewear, mouthguard, and face protection
- Pads, including shoulder pads, chest pad, knee pads, and elbow pads
- Shin guards, wrist guards, and forearm guards
- Well-fitting shoes
For those sports that aren’t contact sports such as gymnastics, dance, and ballet, you will still want to ensure that your child has the proper tape, braces, and guards they need to perform their sport safely.
Regular Wellness Visits
At Blaine Health & Wellness, we proudly provide wellness care to children of all ages for injury prevention and maintaining their overall health. Scheduling your child for regular wellness visits can keep their bodies functioning properly which can help prevent sports-related injuries. Contact our top-rated wellness center to schedule your child for chiropractic care, massage therapy, or physical therapy in Blaine. Be sure to read part two of this blog series to learn more ways you can protect your child from experiencing a sports-related injury.