As the summer ends, it’s time to get your little ones ready for the sports they enjoy playing in the fall season. Sports such as football, soccer, and volleyball are exciting, fast-paced activities that do come with their fair share of tumbles and falls.
Here are a few tips to minimize risk of injuries while playing fall sports:
A great place to start is using the Right Sporting Gear:
Soccer: This is a pretty safe game as long as your child is wearing soccer cleats to prevent slipping when making sudden changes in direction, and shin guards that fit snugly around the ankle.
Football: The use of protective gear cannot be overstressed when playing football. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, about 448,000 football-related injuries occur in children under the age of 15 every year. Important football gear includes helmets, shoulder pads, tail pads, hip pads, and knee pads, athletic supports, and cleated shoes.
Volleyball: Safety gear for volleyball includes knee pads to protect your knees while sliding or falling, padded shots to protect your hips when diving for the ball, volleyball shoes for extra shock absorption and good traction on the gym floor, and prescription googles or shatter-proof glasses as necessary.
Cross Country: Proper stretching and a good pair of shoes are a must when it comes to running. As in all sports, hydration and being aware of high temperatures while training are especially important when running long distances.
General Safety tips for Fall Sports:
- Before to the start of the season, encourage your child to perform conditioning exercises to improve strength and stamina.
- Have your child undergo a sports physical by a qualified coach prior to participation.
- Make sure your child knows the rules of the game and value of fair play.
- Impress on your child the importance of warming up to avoid injury and performing a slow cool down to reduce soreness after the game.
- Make sure the protective gear worn by the child is age appropriate and well fitting.
- Drink enough of water before, during, and after the game to avoid risk of dehydration.
- To prevent overuse injuries, make sure your child gets adequate rest in between games or participates in more than one sport so the same movements are not performed repeatedly.
Lastly, never encourage the “playing through the pain” mindset. In the event of experiencing any pain, ask your child to stop playing and immediately have the injury looked at by the coach or a medical professional.
At North Central Surgical Center, our mission is to treat each and every one of our patients, and their families, as if they were our own family member. Each patient, each family, each and every time.