McLeod Safe Kids Pee Dee/Coastal reminds families to take caution during Sports and Recreation Safety month (April) as well as year-round. Becoming aware of sports safety basics can help prevent future accidents.
Approximately 90 percent of parents underestimate the amount of rest children need from sports. Getting breaks from sports helps avoid overuse injuries, overtraining and burnout.
Acute injuries are usually the result of a single event. Common types of sports-related injuries in children are wrist fractures, tendon sprains or muscle strains. Overuse injuries are the result of repetitive strain to the tendons, bones and joints, such as "little league elbow" and stress fractures.
An active warm-up such as jogging before play increases circulation to cold muscles, making them more flexible and less prone to strain or tear. Regular stretching both before and after play also improves muscle flexibility and reduces the risk of an injury.
Allow a proper amount of time for rest and recovery with both games and practice.
A child should have at least one to two days off from play each week and a minimum of 10 weeks of rest from any given sport each year.
Also encourage your child to participate in a variety of sporting activities. This helps balance muscle development, prevents burnout in the child and decreases the risk of an overuse injury.
Finally, always remember to use the recommended protective equipment. Make sure the child wears his safety equipment consistently, and check that the sports equipment fits properly and is in good condition.
For more information on preventing childhood injury, please call McLeod Safe Kids Pee Dee/Coastal at (843) 777-5021 to speak to an Injury Prevention Specialist, visit www.McLeodSafeKids.org, or find us on Facebook under McLeod Safe Kids.
McLeod Safe Kids Pee Dee/Coastal works to prevent accidental childhood injury, the leading cause of death in children 14 and under. McLeod Safe Kids Pee Dee/Coastal is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing accidental injury. McLeod Safe Kids Pee Dee/Coastal is funded in part by the McLeod Health Foundation.