BreAnn Silcox, coalition coordinator, Safe Kids Bear River
As temperatures increase, so does the amount of time that children spend playing spring sports. The number of sports-related injuries can also increase. Every day, 3,400 children sustain a sports injury severe enough to go to the emergency room. There are, however, many things parents, coaches, and athletes can do to help prevent these injuries.
We can change the culture of sports for our young athletes. It’s important to encourage kids to speak up when they are hurt, give them time to recover, and give coaches the tools they need to be effective.
Safe Kids has some strategies for parents, coaches, and athletes to help keep young athletes safe while playing sports:
- Set the ground rules at the beginning of the season. Coaches should bring parents and athletes together before the season begins to agree on the team’s approach to prevent injuries.
- Teach athletes ways to prevent injuries. Proper technique, strength training, warm-up exercises, and stretching can go a long way to prevent injuries.
- Prevent overuse injuries. Encourage athletes to take time off from playing only one sport to prevent overuse injuries and give them an opportunity to get stronger and develop skills learned in another sport.
- Encourage athletes to speak up when they’re injured. Remove injured athletes from play.
- Put an end to dirty play and rule-breaking. Call fouls that could cause injuries.
- Get certified. Learn first aid, CPR, AED use, and injury prevention skills.
For more information, call (435) 792-6500 or visit safekids.org.