Preventing Injuries from Physical Activity
Keeping children safe during physical activities is of paramount importance to parents. Kids, especially pre-schoolers do not pay much attention to their surroundings while playing, and are bound to end up getting hurt. Parents need to ensure that the playing environment is safe and your child has play-specific body guards in place to prevent injuries.
Early childhood is a period of rapid development, and preschoolers are at a risk of falling as they learn to climb, run, and play apart from the danger of falling from windows, and the furniture inside your home. They also carry the risk of falling from playground equipment like see-saws and slides etc. While children learn to be careful over a period of time, it takes time for them to figure out dangers. Till the grow up and understand, it is a parent’s responsibility to keep them safe.
Simple Steps to Keep your Child Free from Injuries
Safeguarding from Physical Injury
- Allow kids to undertake activities appropriate for their physical strength and fitness. For example, some children are adept at using monkey bars, while others are happy to roll on the floor and not undergo any intense physical activity. Understand your kid’s capabilities while exposing them to physical activity
- Use safety gear. When letting your child bicycle, make him/her use a helmet and mouth guard.
- Keep your child hydrated; give him water before and after play times. Prevent sun injuries by making him wear hats, and applying sunscreen lotions.
- If it is an intensive sport your child is participating in, make sure he stretches and warms up in advance.
- Speak to your child about safety. But children should not be restrained by telling them to be safe. This can instil a sense of self-preservation among them.
Keep the Environment Safe
It is important that children play in a safe environment. Ensure that they are away from broken equipment in playgrounds, uneven surfaces and sharp rubbish. If you notice children who are not of the same size, and are playing competitive sport with your children, you need to keep a watch. When in the playground, make sure that that the landings surfaces are safe such as gravel or rubber. At home, make sure the heavy bookcases are secure. Secure windows, and keep sharp edges and equipment like knives out of the reach of children. Also keep electrical equipment and plugs away from children, or use child-safe equipments at home. As your child grows, he will want to run up and down the stairs. Make sure there is a good amount of supervision when this happens.
Make your child do a variety of activities. Engage your kid so that he develops skills like climbing, catching and balancing. Make sure your child understands the rules of the game before playing. Exercise an appropriate level of supervision taking into consideration his age, physical health and stamina, social skills and temperament. Playing actively with your child in the playground and at home can instil safe behaviour in your child. This allows you to actively supervise your child, and also bond with him/her.
While parents are happy to provide a safe environment, and equip kids with skills that are safe, we must also note that over-protection and over-cautiousness can deter children from playing freely. Supervision is required for children, but it should be exercised to the extent that the child is free to play and does not feel restrained in any way.