Prioritizing Safety In Children’s Sports

by Valerie, Mom Knows It All

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children's soccer team

When my oldest was small, he did participate in some organized children’s sports. Back then, about fifteen years ago, sports for young children was intended to be fun and educational. While the games were not supposed to be highly competitive, the kids were always required to wear protective gear. Today there seem to be more sports than before, which of course means an increased focus on safety. Betty shared a few thoughts on safety in children’s sports today, which I am sharing with permission.

Moms, Read This if You’re Enrolling Your Kids in Sports

Sports (individual or team-based) are a healthy activity for children. Beyond the physical benefits, sports build confidence and improve self-esteem. Overall, there are plenty of good reasons to get your kid involved in sports; however, consider the risks before you go running to the school with a sign-up form. Sports injuries are very common, and often attributed to failure to wear the proper gear or unpreparedness on the field.

In an effort to help your child be successful in sports, the following outlines some of the dangers of popular sports and the equipment you’ll need to keep your kid safe. Participation in organized sports is rising, and there are now more youth sports-related injuries than ever before, warns Stop Sports Injuries. As a parent, it’s a good idea to encourage your child to play sports, but it’s imperative you take every effort to keep him safe.

Baseball

The equipment needed for baseball depends on your child’s position and age. T-ball players require size-appropriate bats, uniforms, and helmets (and not much else). Older kids require more safety equipment, including an athletic supporter, cup, helmet and mask, mitt, check and leg protectors. Not all equipment is created equal. For example, a generic bat isn’t going to have the same power and capability as youth baseball Easton bats from Homerunmonkey.com.

Your child may also require a chin strap, baseballs, mouth guard, and other items. Check with your child’s coach to get a full list. The most common youth baseball injuries are little league elbow, little league shoulder, ankle sprains, concussion, muscle strains, and general overuse injuries. Pads and guards are the best way to avoid pains and sprains.

Soccer

Soccer isn’t an expensive sport, which makes it very popular. Because children are running fast and watching the ball, there’s ample opportunity for collisions and falls. The most common soccer injuries are ankle injuries, = shin splints, knee pain, ligament sprains, and muscle strains. The most important thing you can do is consistently remind your child to watch where he’s going.

Make sure your child is protected by outfitting him in cleats, shin guards, his full uniform, and elbow pads. Your child’s coach will recommend he have his own soccer balls, as well as that he comes to practice in socks and shorts and whatever guards are recommended. Make sure he stays hydrated by providing him with a water bottle.

Football

Football is known to cause more injuries than other sports because it’s a tackle sport. Children are running into each other on purpose, and it takes a lot of practice to do this safely. Luckily, children are outfitted in a lot of padding and thick helmets to keep them safe. Contusions are the most common football injury, but ligament sprains are a close second. Because of the durability of your child’s helmet, it is unlikely (fewer than four 4 percent chance) that he’ll suffer a concussion.

The most important thing is that your child where all his safety equipment to games and practice. He should wear a helmet, neck collar/roll, jockstrap and cup, mouth guard, pads for his thighs, hip and knee pads, as well as shoulder pads and gloves.

There are lots of sports your child may consider, these are just three examples. It doesn’t matter what sport your child is considering, safety should always be your first priority. There are entirely too many injuries occurring each year to make buying cheap equipment an option; instead, look to high-quality shops to ensure your child has the safest equipment available.

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9 comments

pat.navymom February 8, 2016 - 9:39 am

Even non-competitive sports like bicycling and skateboarding require protective gear.

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Heather Johnson February 8, 2016 - 10:08 am

I did gymnastics as a kid. Because of my joint problems, I used braces and athletic tape to keep myself safe. Safety is so important!

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OurFamilyWorld February 8, 2016 - 10:15 am

Our kids’ safety is very important in all kinds of sports. I used to worry a lot when my son was skateboarding, so I made sure he had all the protective gears he needs.

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Scott February 8, 2016 - 11:23 am

It’s a fine balance between safety and fun. Yes, we want to protect our kids – but not to the point where they’re ostracized for what they’re wearing.

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Kristen from The Road to Domestication February 8, 2016 - 1:34 pm

This is so important! I was just watching a story yesterday about how a girl was injured badly in a volleyball game as a result of a safety issue. It’s not worth it!

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Toughcookiemommy February 8, 2016 - 1:44 pm

My sons both play organized sports and safety is a huge consideration. It’s important that all children be safe when they are participating in sports.

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Liz Mays February 8, 2016 - 5:44 pm

I remember my little brothers getting injured in baseball. I had forgotten all about that! No matter what sport, there are safety measures to be taken.

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Brianna February 8, 2016 - 7:27 pm

both my boys play baseball. I agree there is safety needed, but at the same time it seems that too many parents go overboard and instead of letting their kids be kids and play they wrap them in a bubble…

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Farrah February 14, 2016 - 11:14 pm

I can remember getting hit while playing softball many times as a kid. My three older kids play ball now, so I definitely know the importance of having the right safety equipment.

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