The need to encourage physical activity in kids and teens implies their increasing participation in individual and team sports. Although the primary objective is to keep fit and enjoy, sometimes injuries occur that following necessary recommendations can be avoided.
All sports involve a risk of injury, but in team sports and those with greater contact between players, such as football, basketball or handball, there is more chance of a traumatic injury. Here are the best tips for preventing sports injuries in kids and teens.
Frequent sports injuries in kids
Many of these injuries occur in ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Excessive exercise can also cause stress fractures.
Besides, the specialists indicate that in kids and teens, the areas in which bone growth is occurring have a higher risk of injury precisely during the rapid phases of development.
In a growing child, localized pain on a bone should be evaluated by a doctor even if the inflammation is minimal or limited to movement, American pediatricians said.
The most frequent sports injuries are sprains and strains that affect ligaments and muscles, as well as stress bone fractures caused by abnormal pressure on tendons, joints, bones, and muscles.
10 tips to prevent sport injuries in kids
- Take days off – you have to plan in the training of any sport at least one day of rest per week to allow the body to recover.
- Use the right equipment – players should wear the correct protective equipment depending on the sport, whether helmet, knee-pads, knuckles, eye or dental protection. Young athletes should not assume that by using this protection, they can perform more dangerous or risky activities.
- Strengthen the muscles – it is necessary to perform maintenance exercises during the warm-up to strengthen the muscles involved in the sport.
- Increase flexibility – stretching exercises before and after sports practice increase flexibility and should be incorporated into a daily maintenance plan.
- Use the appropriate technique – something that must be specially reinforced during the sports season.
- Rest – Rest periods during training and sports events can reduce injuries and prevent heat strokes.
- Play safely – must inform and reinforce the monitoring of the rules of the game to avoid the blows between players for unregulated actions with, for example, head, shoulder or hip in contact sports.
- If you feel pain, you have to stop – either during training or when the game or sports activity has started.
- Avoid heat injuries – for this, you have to drink plenty of fluids before, during and after exercise or sports. You must decrease or stop doing sports practices or competitions during periods of higher heat or humidity and wear light clothing.
- Take care of the emotional aspect – the pressure to win can cause emotional stress in children. In the exercise and sport in children and adolescents should be evaluated effort, sportsmanship, and hard work. They must be rewarded for striving and improving their skills instead of being punished or criticized for losing in a game or competition.