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Teach your child about sports safety:
Sports safety is an important skill your child needs to learn early. Awareness and proper protective sports equipment may help prevent injury.
- Have your child wear protective sports equipment that fits properly. Check the fit before each season begins. Your child may be heavier or broader than last season, even if he or she is not much taller. Find shoes that provide good support. Remind your child to wear a helmet, eye protection, a mouthguard, knee and elbow pads, or other gear. The equipment should fit correctly and be worn throughout the sport or activity.
- Help prevent dehydration and heat-related illness. Give your child a lot of water to drink before, during, and after a sporting event. Help him or her dress for the weather. If your climate is hot and humid, give your child time to adjust before playing.
- Remind your child to warm up, cool down, and stretch before and after the sport. This may help ease his or her body into the activity and prevent an injury.
Help your child learn to play sports safely:
- Help your child understand all the rules of the sport he or she plays. Your child may be less experienced than other players. He or she may change positions on the team between seasons. This can cause confusion and mistakes during the game.
- Do not let your child play sports if he or she is tired or in pain. Your child is more likely to become injured if his or her body is not rested.
- Make sure the coach or teacher is trained and experienced. Ask the coach how he or she promotes safety and handles injuries.
- Encourage periods of rest between your child's games or sports.
- Help your child create a regular sleep schedule. Good quality sleep will help your child stay alert during sports.
- Encourage your child to stay conditioned during the off-season. This may help prevent overuse or repetitive stress injuries. Training programs that focus on hip and core strength may be helpful.
- Take your child to his or her pediatrician every year for a physical exam.
Call your child's doctor if:
- Your child is injured during a sports activity.
- You have questions or concerns about sports safety.
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