Every year lakhs of kids globally are treated in the emergency departments for sports and recreation-related injuries. There is a possibility of getting injured in any sport either from the trauma of collision with the other players or from overuse or misuse of a body part. But contact sports such as football or basketball can be expected to result in a higher number of injuries.
Here are top 10 tips to ensure that playing a sport doesn’t turn into a nightmare –
1. Communication is key
Create a transparent environment in which a young athlete understands that he or she should talk with you and seek help if experiencing pain or something that just doesn’t feel right. It is fact that a few kids just try to push through pain. This should be prevented.
2. Go for trials
It is a good idea to first go for trials before taking up any sport. It is a great way to determine if your young athlete is fit to play. It also keeps them from further injuring themselves.
It is essential for athletes to keep changing the sports or activities they are doing so that continuous stress on the same muscles and joints is prevented.
4. Warming up
Stretching is an important prevention technique that should become a habit in young athletes. There should be a mix of static and dynamic stretching. Toe touches and stretches are considered static, while jumping jacks are considered dynamic.
5. Adequate rest
Athletes of all ages need to rest between practices, games and events. The most common injuries seen in young athletes are overuse injuries — too many sports and not enough rest. You should ideally plan an offseason for their athlete to recuperate better.
6. A well-balanced diet
A well-balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables and lean proteins, and to maintain a regular eating schedule is essential. You should ensure that your young athlete gets breakfast, lunch and dinner around the same time each day.
Athletes should have adequate water before, during and after play. You should immediately consult a doctor if there is any sign of a heat-related illness such as fatigue, nausea, vomiting or fainting.
8. Protective gears
No athlete should be allowed to take the field without proper equipment such as helmets, pads and shoes. They are essential for injury prevention.
9. Adherence to technique and guidelines
There should be no deviation from the standard practices. There should be a proper way to tackle an opponent to avoid a concussion. Safety is top priority.
10. Seek help
Despite all the precautions, even if the injury happens, that should not be ignored and treated immediately. Watch out for warning signals like change in athlete’s technique, such as a limp when running, throwing differently or rubbing a leg during activity.