Knowledge is power.
And when it comes to kids sports safety it can mean the difference between a great experience and a trip to the emergency room.
Youth sports participation is on the rise and is at an all-time high. According to SAFE KIDS Worldwide, more than 46.5 million children and teens participate in organized competitive or recreational sports in the U.S.
As a sports enthusiast, ex-college athlete, coach, and parent of a young athlete, it's wonderful to see how many young boys and girls have the opportunity to experience the wonderful benefits that physical activity and sport have to offer.
But let's be honest.
Though youth sports offer unique physical, emotional, and social benefits, they are not without risk. Anytime you have bodies and/or projectiles moving within defined spaces, there is chance for injury. Check out some stats:
There are plenty more to mention, but you get the idea.
So, before hitting the playing area, it's good to know some simple sports safety tips to help your athlete prevent injury. Or, in a situation where injury does occur, you will be armed with the knowledge to respond appropriately. Check out the infographic below.
Ankle sprains - Most common injury in young athletes
Fractures - Most fractures occur due to trauma and happen more often in boys than girls. The majority of broken bones occur in the upper extremities. Stress fractures are small fractures that result from overuse of muscles and tendons often through excessive or intense exercise.
Concussions & other head injuries - About 250,000 children under 19 yrs old are treated each year for concussion or TBI (traumatic brain injury)
Heat and sun-related injuries - Children are not as efficient at sweating and cooling off their bodies as adults so they are at risk of overheating and suffering sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.
Knee injuries - ACL tears
Little league elbow - Injury in little league pitchers due to overuse and improper throwing mechanics
Steroids and sport
Type 2 diabetes
Infographic source: Bracken Foam Fabricators
Source: Brady, Mark P. "Common Pediatric Sports and Recreational Injuries" Medscape , 17 June 2016. Web. 8 August 2017.