No matter how careful you are, as a parent, you cannot avoid all injuries for your child, especially, while he is playing outdoors. Yet active outdoor sports are a necessary part of a healthy lifestyle. Taking a few precautions can minimize the danger of injury while letting him enjoy the outdoors.
Most children, thrive on high energy outdoor sports. And, there is hardly any child who are fortunate enough to have escaped bruises, sprains and small cuts while on the sports field. However, parents can avoid serious injuries by making sure that their child takes proper precautions.
For younger children, adult supervision is a must. Older children need to be cautioned and reminded frequently to take care while playing. Some simple steps like keeping themselves hydrated, wearing proper protective gear, following the rules of the game, being completely fit before taking on strenuous sports and consciously avoiding injury, can go a long way in keeping them safe.
Some Tips To Avoid Injuries
1. Use Protective Gear
Whether it is something simple like running, skating or cycling or an organized sport like cricket or baseball, proper gear is important to rule out chances of injury. Make sure your child wears a helmet, knee/elbow guards, pads and gloves or any other specific protective gear when he is out on the field. Ensure that the gear is in good condition and fits him well.
2. Use Proper Equipment
A damaged skateboard or a misbalanced cycle can lead to a bad fall. The equipment that your child uses must be in good working order.
3. Make Sure He’s Completely Fit
Children are often in a hurry to get back to the field after an illness or injury. Make sure your child is completely well before he goes back to active sports. A sprained ankle that hasn’t completely healed might lead to a worse injury, or if your child is still weak after an illness he is more likely to fall or get hurt easily.
4. Ensure Proper Supervision
Younger children require adult supervision at all times. It might be safe to allow the older ones to play with minimal supervision. However, for specialized sports the presence of a coach or an informed adult can ensure safety.
5. Warm up and Cool down
A short jog or a few stretches can go a long way in loosening muscles and preparing the body for activity. Warm ups and cool downs are important. They help avoid sudden cramps and falls, and also decrease post-activity aches and pains.
6. Make Sure Your Child Knows The Rules
Being where you are supposed to be and doing what you are supposed to be doing, on the field, during a game can prevent accidental injuries. Parents should make sure their child knows the rules of the game and follow them on the field.
7. Avoid Dehydration
It is important for children to keep themselves hydrated, specially during the summers, and while playing high energy sports like foot ball. Ensure your child carries a bottle of water. Encourage children to take frequent water breaks. Watch out for signs of dehydration like dizziness, a weak pulse and severe perspiration. Make sure he stops playing and seeks medical help.
8. Recognise Overuse Injuries
Parents need to read the signs of overuse injuries and ensure their child gets enough rest. These are difficult to spot, as they develop slowly over time. Injuries like tennis elbows and stress fractures fall under this category. Watch out for signs like difficulty in using a specific body part, shortness of breath, difficulty in sleeping, unusual weakness or irritability and frequent or long lasting headaches. Consult a doctor, if you spot any of these symptoms.
Children cannot and should not be kept away from outdoor activity. However, they are likely to ignore the set precautions. It is the parents’ responsibility to provide frequent reminders and to watch out for signs of injury.