Ahhhh, Labor Day weekend marks the closing of another summer season. It’s officially the time of the year when children are dreading the return of homework and teachers, but parents are looking forward to handing off their kids to someone else for a few hours a day (we’re kidding—kinda!)
Going back to school can be exciting for kids especially when they’re able to reunite with friends and make some new ones! But with the return of the school year, returns a variety of youth sports and activities. Despite the school year giving some semblance of a routine, it can and will, get hectic when you’re juggling school pick-up lines, dance classes, or football scrimmages— did we mention all in the same evening? It’s easy to get caught up in the quick pace of the afternoons, so when little Johnny gets hit with a bad pitch at baseball practice–rushing from the field to the ER can add even more stress to your plate.
Did you know, that the most dangerous ages for boys are 12 to 13; making up almost 18% of all boys’ school injuries over the past two years? The most dangerous ages for girls are 13 to 14; making up 17% of injuries for all girls. Approximately 6 million youth participate in school-affiliated team sports and over 30 million play sports outside of school. It’s no wonder that sports-related injuries account for 3.5 million doctors and ER visits each year!
Injury Prevention Tips for Youth:
- Abide by the rules of the sport
- Be sure your child has had their yearly physical examination
- Have the proper apparel and protective gear
- Warm up and stretch before and after playing
- Drink plenty of fluids before and during the sport
- Do not partake when their extremely tired or in pain
If Injury Occurs:
Prompt treatment can often prevent a minor injury from turning into something worse. The first step is to use RICE therapy (rest, ice, compress and elevate). If a child displays any of the following signs, they may need to visit the doctor:
- Inability or decreased ability to play
- Visible deformity
- Severe pain that prevents the use of an arm or leg
- Symptoms that persist or affect athletic performance
Most sports-related injuries are preventable. The following are steps coaches and parents can take to help reduce the chances of an injury occurring:
- Enroll your child in programs where you know an adult will be monitoring the event
- Be sure your child uses the proper safety equipment
- Teach your child to start by warming up and stretching
- Remind your child to cool down afterward
While that sounds scary, youth sports are extremely beneficial for children psychologically, socially, and physically. In fact, 73% of parents believe that sports benefits their child’s mental health. Partaking in sports is associated with lower rates of anxiety and depression and also lowers the amount of stress. Participating is a good way to build self-esteem and confidence in your little one!
So, while some injuries are avoidable, having a policy that would cover them in case of an accident is crucial. You wouldn’t send your kids to school without pencils, so why send them to the field without the proper coverage?
Talk to us about what that means for you and your family.