As we all know, physical exercise is good for us, at any age. When our youngsters become interested in playing soccer, baseball, football, and other sports, it is important that we do all we can to ensure their safety. There are more than 3.5 million children age 14 and under that receive medical treatment for sports injuries each year, according to Safe Kids USA. The National Athletic Trainers Association reports that more than one-half of sports injuries occur at practices rather than games. Parents should:
- Ask if their child’s coach has received first aid training.
- Be sure that there is a first aid kit at each practice and game.
- Suggest that the parents group have a risk management committee.
- See that their child doesn’t play the same type of sport year-round, causing overuse of the same muscles.
- Inquire if the league does a background check of coaches.
- Be pro-active about safety issues.
- Be sure their child stays hydrated during games. Gatorade is excellent for replacing electrolytes lost during activity.
Proper nutrition is very important to the physical fitness of our children. Several studies have shown either low fat milk or chocolate milk are good recovery beverages because of the ideal 4:1 combination of carbohydrates and protein that replenishes and fuels our muscles.
If children choose not to participate in organized sports, Physical Education (P.E.) Classes are a very important part of their school curriculum. These classes promote physical fitness, motor skills, an understanding of rules, concepts and strategies. In addition, children learn a spirit of competitiveness and teamwork.
Show your enthusiasm for whatever your child chooses to do, enjoy every minute of it, and teach them to be a good sport along the way.