Physical activity is one of our greatest assets in the fight to curb obesity, a growing problem with today’s youth. However, playing sport and exercising does come with the risk of injuries, and some of these can have lifelong implications if not treated properly from the outset.
The great news is, many of these injuries can be prevented in the first place.
Keep your kids well-equipped
The correct equipment, properly fitted, is key to helping protect your child from injury while playing sport. Safety equipment includes:
- mouthguards (fitted by a dentist)
- protective eyewear
- shin pads, knee, elbow and wrist guards
- shoes specifically designed for the sport they’re playing.
All equipment should meet Australian standards, be regularly checked and replaced as needed.
Whilst many people attribute injuries to ‘bad luck’, they’re often the result of bad preparation. A key part of preparation is a warm up and this can include anything from a brisk walk or light jog, to a set of drills.
Take a gradual approach
The younger your child, the easier their sporting activities should be. Match their physical and mental maturity to the level of participation, complexity and rules. Also, make sure coaches and teachers are aware of their complete sporting schedule.
Manage any pre-existing conditions
If your child suffers from asthma, make sure they have a Ventolin on or near them at all times, and create an asthma management plan to share with the coach. For more chronic conditions, like diabetes or epilepsy, you’ll need to be on the lookout for signs your child is struggling. If they have an injury, they shouldn’t be participating at all.