How My Child Can Avoid Heat Exhaustion and Sprains During Sports Practice
Playing sports is a great way for children to stay active and build self-esteem. As kids grow older, sports get more demanding and competitive. It’s not unusual for young kids to play in the heat or have dual practices. To provide your child with a safe and healthy experience, it’s important to take steps to prevent heat exhaustion, tendonitis, sprains and other injuries.
As a trusted center for pain management in Hackensack NJ, we have a number of tips that we recommend to the parents of children in sports. We are happy to share these tips with you, too!
Understanding the Risks in Sports
It’s no surprise why parents encourage their kids to be involved in sports. Team sports are highly rewarding and help children develop self-esteem, leadership skills, time management and respect. But, it’s possible to have too much of a good thing.
Kids’ bodies are growing and need rest. Though sports injuries can happen from a number of things, they are usually a result of overuse. The most common sports injuries our pain management clinics see are sprains, strains, tendonitis and stress fractures. Heat exhaustion is also a concern during the summer when kids spend a lot of time on the field.
Tips for Reducing the Risk of Injury
Fortunately, there are simple, effective ways to keep your child safe during sports practice. Here are the best tips to follow.
- Give the body time to rest. The body needs time to recover. Your child should have at least one day a week to rest. Most sports have seasons and do not go year-round. However, if your child plays multiple sports, make sure they have enough time off.
- Take regular breaks. Multiple breaks should be built into your child’s practice. Be sure your child is getting time to rest and rehydrate during practice to prevent heat exhaustion and injury. Water is important before and after practice, too.
- Wear the right protection. The right sports gear is a must – even during practice. Not wearing the proper protective gear puts your child at risk for injuries. All equipment should also fit properly and be in good condition.
- Strengthen muscles. Conditioning exercises are a great way to strengthen the muscles and prevent injury. Physical conditioning has many components, including balance, speed, agility, coordination and endurance.
- Follow proper technique. Your child should be encouraged to use proper technique at all times. Doing things like headfirst sliding (baseball), checking (hockey) or spearing (football) can lead to injury.
- Don’t play through pain. Lastly, avoid having your child play through pain. When something is wrong, the body sends pain signals to let you know. Playing through an injury can make things worse.
If your child has suffered an injury, it’s possible they could benefit from conditioning exercises, stretching exercises and other pain management therapies. Schedule an appointment with Jersey Rehab to learn more about our options for treating youth sports injuries.