Participating
in youth sports can offer a child many benefits. Besides improving
their physical health and fitness levels, children who play youth
sports have also been proven to experience more success in the
classroom their social lives.
According
to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association’s national survey,
there are more than 25 million youth ages 6-17 currently
participating in organized team sports, but this number is on the
decline. In 2008, 44.5% of children reported that they played sports
regularly; that number dropped to 40% in 2013.
There
are many reasons for the decline, but the most prevalent was the risk
of injury, with almost 90% of parents reporting it as their main
concern. According to SafeKids.org, more than 1 million youth visited
the ER for sports-related injuries in 2012 alone.
While
injuries can be concerning, they are inevitable in any form of
physical activity and many of them can be prevented with a little bit
of care and caution. Here are the top ten safety tips for youth
sports:
  1. Make
    sure your child is cleared by a medical physician before
    participating in any sport.
  2. Hydration
    is important. Make sure your child drinks plenty of water throughout
    the day, especially during practice and games.
  3. Stretching
    before physical activity prepares the body for exercise and improves
    joint and muscle flexibility.
  4. To
    prevent injuries to their teeth, jaw, and brain, athletes are
    recommended to wear mouth guards in sports which do not necessarily
    require them; such as soccer and basketball.
  5. Sprained
    ankles are the most common sports injury; wear high-top cleats or
    sneakers to provide additional support to this area.
  6. Make
    sure all of your equipment (shoes, helmets, pads, etc.) properly
    fits to ensure optimal protection.
  7. Make
    sure to get an adequate amount of sleep. Being tired on the field
    results in poorer performance and increases your risk of injury.
  8. Make
    your child’s coach aware of their medical history as well as any
    allergies or special care that may be needed.
  9. It
    is essential that your child learns proper technique, especially in
    movements where injuries can easily occur – such as tackling a
    ball-carrier in football.
  10. Keep
    your body conditioned throughout the offseason.
Insports
Centers in Trumbull, Connecticut provides an area where athletes of
all sports and ages can safely compete and have fun. View our
upcoming leagues, tournaments, and instructional programs by visiting our website.