Today’s youth sports have become increasingly more scrutinized for their safety implications. In order to ensure a safe and meaningful experience for young athletes, it is important to make sure that all kids are as protected as possible when competing. Here is what can be done to make youth sports as safe as possible.
Provide the Proper Protection
Regardless of the sport, the young athlete must be equipped with the proper protective gear. For football, that gear should include pads, a helmet, and mouthguard. Baseball players need to have a properly sized batting helmet and catcher’s gear, while soccer players should never play without the right shin guards in place. Failure to outfit your athletes with the right gear can lead to a host of injuries.
Conduct the Proper Warm-Ups
Athletes are more likely to be injured if they have not taken the time to warm up prior to their activity. Before stretching the muscles, it is important to do a light jog or any other activity that will warm up the muscles. The right conditioning and warm-up program will strengthen the primary muscles used in competition. Stretching before and after activity will also increase flexibility and reduce the incidence of injury. Although most athletes are coaches understand the importance of warming up and stretching, many of them ignore the implications and jump right into the activity.
Train Coaches to Recognize Injury Symptoms
Savvy coaches understand the importance of knowing how to recognize and treat a variety of sports injuries. Recent research suggests that a sports-related traumatic brain injury may occur even in the absence of concussion symptoms. This makes it especially important that coaches are trained to recognize possible signs of a head injury. Signs to look out for include dizziness, forgetfulness, and nausea.
Understand the Importance of Hydration
Especially in the warm summer months or when practicing with a lot of gear, it is critically important to ensure that the athletes are properly hydrated. Dehydration can pose a significant danger to young athletes. Early signs of dehydration include dry mouth, thirst, dizziness, headache, and cramps. Teaching your children how to recognize these symptoms will go a long way in the prevention of dehydration. Coaches should also make an effort to provide plenty of water to the team. When traveling to away games, make sure that players have plenty of fluids before, durring, and after the game.
There will an inherent risk with any type of sport. However, the right planning and practices can help to mitigate the potential dangers and provide a safer experience for all young athletes.
You don’t want an injury to worsen, or for your injury to keep you from doing what you want to do. Let Achieve Health USA help you be the best you can be!