It’s not possible to prevent every injury in sports. Some kids are going to get hurt no matter how careful we are. We can make fall sports safer, though.
In this video, I share 5 tips you can take to make sure your son or daughter is as safe as possible as they start their season in fall sports.
Make sure the equipment fits properly and is in good condition.
Almost every team and sports leagues uses equipment for more than one season. If your son plays football, check the helmet to make sure it fits well and is in good condition. For any of the fall sports, check all pads and every other part of the uniform and notify the coach if something needs to be repaired.
Find out if the coach has any training in injuries.
Obviously, coaches are not healthcare professionals. Many leagues now do recommend that coaches get some training in the recognition and initial management of medical issues like concussions, heat illness and cardiac arrest. They also can receive CPR training and instruction in the use of AEDs.
Make sure the school or team has an athletic trainer.
Athletic trainers are critically important to the safety of athletes at every level of sports. A large percentage of schools have them, but many youth sports leagues don’t. Check with the coach or school athletic director to see if they will have athletic trainer coverage.
Make sure your children tell you they are hurting or suffered an injury.
Often kids don’t want to let their teammates, their coaches or parents down by not being able to play. They will hide pain from everyone and try to push through it. In a supportive way, develop a positive relationship with your children so that they will feel comfortable telling you that they hurt. Then get it checked out by a doctor before it becomes a more serious injury.
Make sure you preach the importance of your child telling the coach, doctor or athletic trainer they got hurt.
Whether it’s a concussion or some bone or joint injury, young athletes need to have it evaluated by the team doctor or athletic trainer before trying to play through it. Kids should not try to hide injuries to stay on the field or court. Stress the need to tell someone that they got hurt before it actually happens.