Child Athlete Safety Checklist
Sports injury occurs when excessive stress is placed on tendons, joints, bones and muscle. And, although a University of Connecticut report has ranked Kentucky as one of the safest states for high-school athletes, there are still several important injury prevention tips that can help parents (and Kentucky coaches) promote a safe sports experience for children. This list of important injury prevention tips can help provide a safe and optimal sports environment for child athletes at any age.
Identifying and Avoiding Injury Risks
While most youth sports will come with some sort of risk to injury, the benefits of participating in sports will outweigh these risks for the vast majority. In the unfortunate incident that a young athlete is injured from some of the most frequent types of sports injuries like sprains, strains, and stress fractures, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests reducing that risk of injury with these simple tips.
- Have your child take time off. Plan for them to have at least 1 day off per week and at least one month off per year from training for a particular sport to allow the body to recover.
- Wear the right gear. Players should wear appropriate and properly fitting protective equipment such as pads (neck, shoulder, elbow, chest, knee, shin), helmets, mouthpieces, face guards, protective cups, and eyewear. Young athletes should not assume that protective gear will prevent all injuries while performing more dangerous or risky activities.
- Strengthen muscles. Conditioning exercises during practice strengthens muscles used in play.
- Increase flexibility. Stretching exercises after games or practice can help increase flexibility. Stretching should also be incorporated into a daily fitness plan.
- Use the proper technique. This should be reinforced during the playing season.
- Take breaks. Rest periods during practice and games can reduce injuries and prevent heat illness.
- Play safe. Strict rules against dangerous plays such as headfirst sliding (baseball and softball), spearing (football), and checking (in hockey) should be enforced.
- Do not allow your child to play through pain.
- Avoid heat illness by drinking plenty of fluids before, during and after exercise or play; decrease or stop practices or competitions during high heat/humidity periods; wear light clothing.
Prevent Kentucky Student Athletes From Serious Injury
Kentucky schools have staff trained to help athletes avoid injuries. Coaches are trained in CPR and use of AED machines, EpiPen administration, rescue breathing, and know how to stabilize a cervical spine in the event of a serious fall or hit, most common with football players. In addition, coaches at all levels are required to take sports safety courses. Parents can learn a lot from the Kentucky High School Athletic Association, the agency designated by the Kentucky Department of Education. We encourage parents of student athletes to understand how their children are being protected.
If your child athlete has endured a serious injury of fatality because of their participation in a school supervised sport, and it was caused by negligent, reckless, or intentional acts (or failure to act), the wrongdoer can be held accountable. Call us at 888-709-9329 or contact us by e-mail to schedule an appointment with one of our Madisonville or Owensboro personal injury attorneys.