Tips to Prevent Youth Sports Injuries

As the fall approaches, kids, parents, and coaches are beginning to look towards the upcoming sports seasons, including rec sports such as football and hockey. With training kicking into full gear for these games, an issue that should concern parents and coaches alike are the preventions of injuries.

After a long summer off, it is easy for kids to get over-exerted, over-zealous, and reckless when participating in their respective sports. Here are some tips for keeping it an injury-free fall of good games.

Over-exertion. While heat injuries can fall into this category, this is more about younger children and the way they are exercised. In rec sports, coaches and parents should remember that the key word is “rec.”

Recreation. The kids are doing it for fun. To push them too hard in practice or games is risking injury and mental stress.

Another aspect of youth sports is intensity and how it relates to the developing body. Your child is going to develop until they are about seventeen or eighteen, in this time, their muscles and bones are growing and are susceptible to the stress put on them by extreme sports. One sport that this is especially important to consider is youth football and hockey.

While many leagues focus more on play and less on the mechanics of the game, there are still teams out there that focus on hitting and how to get hit. Coaches need to take into consideration that they are teaching high impact gameplay to young people. If this is sustained, children’s musculature and skeletal systems can incur damage. Limit the amount of hitting that is being done and focus more on the more delicate points of the game such as catching, passing, and running plays.

Finally, preventative measures can be taken to prevent the above injuries and others. In the running, an excellent preventative measure is icing your legs after, particularly grueling workout. This keeps swelling down and gets you ready for the following day’s workout. Another thing to remember is that if you are nursing an injury, allow it the proper time to heal. Practicing hurt can lead to much worse, much more debilitating injuries.

Parents and coaches need to be proactive in helping prevent injuries. As kids get older, it becomes more their responsibility, but in early years, adults need to keep an eye on young athletes, as their sole responsibility is to the love of the game.

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