Summer League Sports – Injury Prevention Tips For Your Children
By MarieNelson on June 3rd, 2019
Summer is about to be in full swing and for some athletes that means additional sports participation in the form of summer sports leagues, camps and workshops.
Participation in any sport, whether it’s recreational bike riding or Pee-Wee football, can teach kids to stretch their limits and learn sportsmanship and discipline. However, sports also carry the potential for injury. By knowing how to prevent injuries, you can help make athletics a positive experience for your child this summer.
- Talk with your young athlete.
Make sure your young athlete understands that he or she should talk with their coach right away and seek help if experiencing pain or something that just doesn’t feel right.
- Get a physical therapy evaluation.
A physical therapy evaluation will assess any areas of concern for athletes before they start an activity, and in turn keep them from further injuring themselves during play if a condition is present and needs to be treated.
- Encourage cross-training.
It’s important for athletes to change the sports or activities they are doing so they are not continuously putting stress on the same muscles and joints.
- Always warm up.
Stretching is an important prevention technique that should become habit for all athletes before starting an activity or sport. A mix of both static and dynamic stretching during warmups help loosen the muscles and prepare them for play. Stretches where you hold the position for a certain amount of time are considered static, while stretches where the body continues to move during stretching, are considered dynamic.
- Get adequate rest.
Athletes of all ages need to rest between practices, games and events. The most common injuries seen in young athletes are overuse injuries — too many sports and not enough rest. Parents should plan an offseason for their athlete, giving him or her adequate time to recuperate before the next season.
- Emphasize hydration.
Heat-related illness is a real concern for athletes, especially during hot and humid summer days. Parents should make sure their children have adequate water before, during and after play, and watch for any signs of a heat-related illness, including fatigue, nausea, vomiting, confusion or fainting.
- Get the proper equipment.
Protective equipment, like helmets, pads and shoes, are very important for injury prevention. Parents should talk with coaches before the season starts so that they have adequate time to properly outfit their child before practices begin.
- Seek Help Quickly.
It’s important for athletes of all ages to understand the importance of seeking treatment quickly for pain. While it may be enticing to try to “play through the pain,” this can lead to further damage and a longer recovery time. Physical therapy can make all the difference in a speedy recovery, allowing the athlete to get back on the field, court, or course much sooner.
Whatever your athlete’s sport of choice is, your physical therapist is here to help.