June 9, 2009
Taking the Pressure out of Sports Part VI by Mark Hyman
Smart Safety Moves
Each year more than 3.5 million children under age 15 seek medical treatment for sports-related injuries, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. To help keep your child safe, experts recommend following these guidelines:
See your pediatrician first. Before your child begins a sport, make an appointment to have his fitness level evaluated and discuss any previous injuries he's had.
Brush up on protective gear. Kids need more than snazzy sneakers. Ask the coach about helmets, eye protection, mouth guards, wrist, knee and elbow pads, and any other equipment young players may need.
Encourage proper warm-up. Skipping stretching increases your child's risk of injury. The team should warm up for 15 to 30 minutes before playing.
Be sure the rules of the game are enforced. Kids who disregard the rules can easily injure themselves and those around them. Watch a few practices and games to make sure that the coach disciplines kids who act up or are too aggressive on the field.
Emphasize alertness. Many kids are so busy watching the ball that they forget to be aware of the other players. Remind your child to look around at all times to avoid potentially harmful collisions.
Head off dehydration. Be sure your child drinks plenty of water before, during, and after practices and games, especially in hot weather. Kids weighing under 90 pounds should drink five ounces of water every 20 minutes to replenish fluids lost through sweat.
De-accessorize. Remove your child's jewelry and watch before play. They may injure her or other players during close contact.
Prepare for emergencies. Ensure that the coach is trained in first aid and CPR; it's also smart for him to have a cell phone to quickly call for help if needed. — Jessica Brown
Check back next week for a new article about Youth Soccer Coaching.