The issue of sports safety is an undeniable concern for many and parents need to make it a point to discuss the necessary safety equipment that their kids need in order to be safe when they are active.
More than 3.5 million children ages 14 and under are treated for sports-related injuries each year.
Children between 5 and 14 years of age account for almost 40 percent of sports-related injuries for all age groups.
Most of the injuries result from falls, being struck by an object, collisions, and overexertion during informal sports activities.
Sports and recreational activities contribute to nearly 21 percent of all traumatic brain injuries in children in the United States.
Here are some tips to help kids play safe:
• Wear appropriate safety gear and equipment and know how to use it properly.
• Warm up before playing and cool down when finished. Jumping jacks or jogging slowly are great exercises.
• Know and play by the rules of the chosen sport.
• Don’t play if you feel sick, hurt or too tired.
• Wear sunscreen and a hat to prevent sunburn.
• Drink lots of water before, during and after you play.
• Tell your coach or a trusted adult if you get hurt while playing.
Here are some things that parents can do to prevent injuries.
• Be sure that the playing environment is safe for children.
• The sport should be properly practiced with children of similar size and skill level.
• Make sure children have the appropriate safety gear and are properly conditioned for the activity.
• Always supervise children when they play.
• Make sure children stay properly hydrated while playing sports. You can visitwww.defeattheheat.com for a chart on fluid intake recommendations.
For more information about sports safety and other programs offered through St. Joseph’s Children’s Advocacy Center please call (813) 615-0589.