Participation in any outdoor sport offers tremendous physical, emotional, and social benefits for children. For this reason, it’s important that kids be protected from injuries, especially those which can force them to the sidelines.
While it is true that a good coach knows what exactly needs to be done to prevent injuries among members of his kiddie sports team, parents also have a responsibility in injury prevention or reduction. This way, kids can keep playing the sports they love so much.
The Parents’ Role in Outdoor Sports Injury Prevention
Prepare Children for the Demands of Participating in an Outdoor Sport
Bring your child to a sports doctor or any doctor, nurse practitioner, or clinician who can do a pre-participation physical exam. Make sure the child’s medical history and allergies are also assessed.
Meet with the coach before the child’s first practice. During your first meeting, the coach should be informed of the child’s present condition and medical history. Any special medical conditions, like asthma, must also be declared.
Aside from the child’s condition, the coach should also be provided with your contact information, your doctor’s contact information, and any allergies the child has during the first meeting. This way, if anything happens to the child, the coach can coordinate with the right people.
Give The Right Sports Gear
It’s easy to make assumptions about the kind of sports gear the child needs when you’re used to watching your favorite athletes and teams play on live television. Unfortunately, what you’re seeing on TV are just the athletes’ outerwear and equipment.
Some sports see the use of inner wear worn beneath the uniform or jersey. To confirm if underwear is needed, and to know the other sports gear your child will need, the best person to ask is the coach.
Treat the purchase of outer sports garments like you would your clothes. Sports garments that fit well can help to prevent injuries as they completely eliminate discomfort. The same applies to equipment like helmets, mouth guards, shin guards, and ankle braces.
Emphasize The Importance of Rest
When the body is overused, injury happens. That said, you, as a parent, should also emphasize the importance of rest. Any given rest time, such as during timeouts, must be maximized so muscles can heal up a little bit. Encourage proper sleeping habits as well.
It’s also important that you encourage your little athlete to tell the coach or another adult about any pain felt during or after a game. This allows the coach to promptly assess the pain and thus prevent it from worsening.
Lastly, your little athlete should be given up to two days off weekly from any sport.
The Coaches’ Role in Outdoor Sports Injury Prevention
How do you know that your child’s coach is a good coach? Here are the things you need to pay attention to.
The Coach Does Stretching and Warm-Up Before a Game or Practice Session
A good coach sets aside time for the kids to warm-up and stretch properly. Stretching before a game or practice session releases muscular tension, and is therefore helpful in preventing sports-related injuries.
The most common warm-up routine is as follows: ten minutes of light activity, particularly jogging. This is then followed by actions that stretch every major muscle group. Each action is held for up to thirty seconds.
The Coach Places Emphasis on Proper Hydration
This seems like a no-brainer, but not everyone knows the right time to drink before and during games. Fluids must be consumed half an hour before the start of any activity and every fifteen minutes during activity.
Coaches need to implement water breaks throughout practices and games. He should not wait for complaints. If his coaching team does not have its own large water container, the kids should be asked to bring bottles, especially a durable one made by a reputed water bottles manufacturer in China.
Lastly, The Coach Never Takes Chances With Head Impact
The skull is hard. Unfortunately, the organ it protects can easily be shaken by head impact. When this happens, an athlete can suffer from a variety of issues in the short term. These issues include painful headache and issues with concentration, coordination, balance, and even memory.
A good coach will do what he can to ensure this problem does not worsen or complicate. He pulls out the injured athlete from the game and asks a medical professional to evaluate the injury so he can be given either clearance or needed medical attention right away.