With school back in session, so are youth sports. Younger children and teens are likely already attending practice for sports such as football, soccer and cross-country. It’s important for parents and coaches to understand how to protect kids in practices and games.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every year there are over 2.6 million sports and recreation injuries to children. These numbers only cover children who were taken to the emergency room for their injuries. It is possible that the total is higher due to children who weren’t immediately treated and instead saw their own doctor for treatment.
What can we do to prevent sports injuries?
It is a good idea for parents keep the following tips in mind:
- Consider the heat—Extreme heat and humidity is still an issue this time of year. Staying hydrated is critically important to preventing heat stroke. Kids should also be allowed to take rest breaks.
- Sports gear—While it may seem obvious, children need the proper gear to protect them in practices and games. Used gear may be less expensive, but make sure it is not worn out, broken or missing pieces.
- Communicate with the school—Find out if the school provides information to sports teams on staying safe, especially when it involves concussions and heat-related injuries.
- Talk to the coaches—If you’re not sure how the coaching staff plans to keep your children safe, discuss it with them.
- See it for yourself—Attend games and/or practices to get a better idea of how safe your child is in this situation.
If your child suffers an injury, you may be able to hold the school accountable. Each case is different, and you may need to talk to a lawyer to understand what rights you have.