There are a total of 31.5 million children in the US between the ages of 6–17 who are involved in at least one team sport. While sports can boost confidence and teach teamwork, they also present some safety risks. Read on for more information about sports injury prevention for your child.
Summary of Tips
- Youth sports injuries might be more common than you think. Children ages 5–14 make up 40% of all hospital injuries. Every year, more than 2.6 million children in the US under the age of 19 visit the emergency room for a sports- or recreation-related injury.
- Benefits of playing sports include a boost in self-confidence and an increased sense of achievement. Kids also learn the importance of teamwork and hone skills such as memorization and determination—all of which can be used in a classroom setting too. Children who participate in sports are 8 times more likely to have an active lifestyle in their 20s than those who don’t.
- The most common youth sports injuries are strains and sprains, heat-related injuries—such as dehydration and heat exhaustion—and concussions. In comparison with other athletes, football players are the most susceptible to concussions, with 58,080 diagnoses in the US annually.
- Some of the most popular sports in the US are basketball, baseball/softball, football and soccer. Many kids also ride a bicycle. Make sure your child’s helmet fits properly and practice riding in a safe, empty space together.
- Help your kids stay active and safe. 62% of organized-sports-related injuries occur during practice, but 1/3 of parents do not treat practice with the same safety precautions as they would a game. During practices, encourage your child to regularly drink water, warm up before exercise, take breaks and wear protective gear.