Participating in physical sports is a great way for children not only to stay fit and healthy but also a way for them to have a fun time with their friends. Along with health benefits, sports also teach children many valuable life lessons and traits, such as leadership and teamwork and also overcoming adversity and defeat. Even with all these positive attributes that come with participating in contact sports, there are many dangers and risks that may present themselves if not played properly. All sports can cause injury, but contact sports such as lacrosse, football and wrestling pose a higher threat of injury. As a parent I want to ensure that my children along with others who are participating in sports are fully protected and safe at all times.
- Helmets need to fit the athlete so that they don't fall off or easily knock off from a hit.
- Coaches and parents need to help children learn how to tackle and take hits with the correct parts of their bodies. For instances, tacklers should never lead with their head first.
- No athlete should return to the field unless they feel 100 percent ready to go. Going on the field with a head injury can lead to even more serious problems.
- Do training drills that focus on agility, leg power and balance.
- Build up muscles in the legs to lessen the chance of an ACL injury.
- Warm up before training or games to loosen your muscles. In addition, stretch after a big work out or game to alleviate tightness and sore muscles.
- If anything feels wrong with your knees, see a physician right away and get checked out. Don't wait for the problem to worsen.
Contact sports are a lot of fun for kids. It teaches them to push themselves and also work together with other kids. For many youth athletes, it's the start of a career and passion at a young age. In following some of the tips mentioned above, parents can ensure a safer experience for their children while playing sports.