Summer is approaching, and youth sports season will soon be upon us. As a parent, you’re probably eager to see your child participate in sports like soccer, football, baseball, etc. It’s an excellent time for them to make new friends, learn a skill, and gain much-needed confidence.
Your child is likely excited, too, having dreamed of the day they score their first goal or hit their first home run, but that doesn’t mean starting a contact sport is without risk. Here’s how you can keep your child safe and secure while they’re on the field or the court.
Use a Mouthguard
Your child should visit an orthodontist by the time they reach age 7. This is a great time to ask about mouthguards and other methods of protecting your child’s teeth while they play sports. Additionally, if your child needs braces or has braces already, you can get a professional opinion on the best way to protect their braces while they’re on the field.
There are about 10 different types of braces, and keeping them protected is important to keep your child’s teeth safe. Properly sized mouthguards can help to protect your child, their teeth, and their braces from any unexpected roughness.
Make Sure They Warm Up Properly
In 2018 alone, up to 45.6 million people suffered preventable injuries. Eager as your child may be to sprint towards the pitch or field and start playing, they need to warm up properly to prevent injuries like straining a muscle or cramping. Don’t wait for the coach to do the warm-ups. Ensure your child does light stretching and cardio before getting on the field or court.
If your child likes their sport, they’ll want to remain active and practice frequently, especially if they’re competitive. No matter how enthusiastic they are, they need time to rest, and overplaying can cause damage to muscles and ligaments. Common overuse injuries include Little Leaguer’s elbow or shoulder, jumper’s knee, and other types of joint pain.
Get Them the Right Gear
Having the right gear is essential, and everything should fit them appropriately. They should wear the correct size and fit of helmets, pads, and shoes. If your child is playing football, make sure their helmet is the proper size and have it fitted every six months, as they might outgrow it without you even realizing it.
It’s no doubt that contact sports come with their own unique set of dangers and challenges. With the proper safety precautions, such as wearing protective gear, warming up, and resting, your child can safely enjoy their new favorite sport.