Playing sports is a good way to help your kids develop physically and emotionally. They will get to improve their coordination and strengthen their cardiovascular fitness. Plus, they will know how to form social bonds with other kids and learn about teamwork and camaraderie.
But as parents, you also need to make sure that they get to be safe when playing sports. While small scratches and bumps are normal, injuries or getting seriously hurt should not be part of their experience.
Here are a few things you can do to make sure your precious child is safe from any injury when playing:
Wear protective gear
First, you need to make sure your child is wearing protective gear. And they should be not just any gear. Experts say your kids need to wear the right safety equipment when playing, be it a football mouthpiece or a helmet. Wearing football shin pads in a basketball game for example will only get in the way of your child’s playing and may even cause accidents or injuries.
If you’re not sure what is the appropriate sports gear your child needs, it’s best to talk to their coach or talk to other parents who have gone through this before.
Teach them to warm up
Our bodies are very unlike machines that are always ready to do what it has been designed to do. We also need to do a bit of stretching and some warm-up exercises before darting off to play. Kids, in particular, need to warm up firsts as their body still is not used to what games require, be it swimming or volleyball.
You can teach your kids about the importance of warming up before doing something that is physically exhausting by doing them at home. For instance, you can do some light stretches every morning and some jogging too, so they will know what to expect.
Read up on the rules
Rules are meant to make playing sports safer and fun. When you know the rules of the game, you will be more careful with how you move to avoid hurting other players or get penalized. Helping your kids understand the rules of the game helps them play safer.
For example, if your kid is into soccer, you can let them try doing some roles first like a midfielder or defender, so they would understand what to do and focus on the responsibilities first.
Urge them to often hydrate
Playing sports is exhausting. But for kids who are just starting to enjoy and appreciate playing sports, they may sometimes become too involved in it and forget to drink water from time to time. Dehydration is very serious and can sometimes lead to even more serious health concerns. So be sure to remind them to take some breaks and drink water frequently.
Playing sports is undoubtedly fun and a good learning experience for the child. Staying safe however especially when it comes to team sports should be one of your priorities. Helping your kids become more aware of observing safety precautions when playing can help them enjoy sports more.