Do you know how many kids are treated for sports related injuries in emergency rooms?
Based on a Johns Hopkins medicine article, we put together this graphic that shows the number of sports related injuries that were treated in emergency rooms. While football continues to make news, there are other sports that result in many injuries as well.
To view the findings:
We aren’t suggesting that kids avoid specific sports because of the danger. Kids get injured. As parents, it’s up to us to ensure that our kids are in safer situations. That means everything from finding an appropriate program that offers good supervision and instruction to some good parenting such as instilling good sleep habits and eating and drinking enough.
How can parents help kids avoid sports related injuries:
- Pick a program that puts safety first – watch a practice to see what type of equipment is used. If kids are playing without safety gear, perhaps it’s time to reconsider.
- Make sure your kids get enough sleep – sleep is so important for many things and coordination and reaction are both negatively impacted if kids don’t get enough sleep. Some studies show that adults without sleep operate as if they were under the influence of alcohol! So, if your kid’s getting less than 7 hours of sleep, start a new bedtime routine and get them to bed earlier.
- Hydrate – hydration begins more than an hour before a game. Hydration helps kids with their endurance and mental ability. Make sure your child drinks enough fluids every day. If drinking is not your child’s thing, add more fruits and vegetables to maintain hydration levels. Learn more about hydrating active kids here — we love the idea of scheduling drink breaks.
TIP – if your kid has a practice that is later in the day, consider having an early dinner. After practice, make a smoothie with fresh fruit and either yogurt or kefir to help replenish fluids and repair muscles.
- Wear appropriate safety attire – do your research and wear safety attire. Some common equipment: helmets, shatterproof glasses, mouthguard, etc. Some parents think that safety attire is silly or takes away from the game. We like to note that they won’t feel the same after a life-altering injury!
- Safety attire must fit well – safety attire isn’t something to buy big so that your kid can grow into it. In many cases the fit helps ensure protection so be sure to get the one that fits right. Safety equipment can be purchased used or new. When buying used equipment, be sure to check the equipment for cracks or tears and expiration dates. A cracked helmet or frayed strap means that your safety equipment may fail.
- Don’t play injured – recovery from injury and work out in general is an important step toward making your kid stronger. One of the best things you can do for your child is let their bodies heal.
- Play more than one sport – playing more than one sport helps kids muscles recover while other muscles develop. Consider complementary sports such as lacrosse and basketball.
Sports related Injuries can happen. But the benefits of sports outweigh avoiding them. Take the precautions outlined above to help your kids stay safe. Overall, sports help kids become stronger, establish relationships with other kids and learn how to navigate social situations, so the benefits are terrific. Be safe.