Preventing Sports Injuries

If you’re the parent of a student-athlete, attending sporting events likely takes up a big chunk of your life. There are highs and there are lows, but at the end of the day, the pride of watching your child play makes it all worth it. In an ideal world, they would never get hurt while playing. In reality, that’s easier said than done. Here are a few ways you can do your part in helping to prevent sports injuries.

Make Sure Your Child Has Rest Days

The body needs at least one day per week to recover from training. Make sure the sport your child participates in doesn’t enforce practice every single day of the week. Speak with the team’s coach if you have concerns.

Purchase the Right Gear

When it comes to sports gear, both quality and quantity matter. Make sure to invest high quality eyewear, helmets, padding and mouthpieces that are required for your child’s sport of choice. Enforce the importance of wearing all safety gear at all times while on the field.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Staying hydrated is important for any child, but particularly so for athletes before, during and after the game. Always send them to the game with a large reusable water bottle and carry extra while you’re attending on the sidelines. If your child is dehydrated before playing, their muscles will be weaker and they will be more susceptible to injury.

Pay Attention to Stress Levels

No one likes a controlling parent. Make sure your child is playing the sport he or she likes because they genuinely want to be. Remember to avoid putting pressure on your child to win or to be “the best.” It’s easy for a child to become stressed and emotionally bruised when they feel pressured.

By checking in with your child regularly to see how they’re feeling, and enforcing the importance of safety, you can do your part to help prevent injuries. If an injury does occur, visit your nearest UPMC Children’s Express Care or dial 911 depending on the severity.