Well it’s springtime, and if you house is anything like mine, spring sports or even practices for summer sports, are in full swing. Seems like perfect timing for April to be designated as National Youth Sports Safety Month. Many studies have shown the true benefit to children playing organized sports. But, one main concern involving children’s sports is always safety and preventing injury.
Injuries can range anywhere from serious injuries like bone breaks, concussions and dehydration to small things such as blisters. Many parents tell us that our SmartKnitKIDS socks help to cut down on rubbing, irritation and blisters and make especially great soccer socks, as well as socks to wear under ice skating or horse riding boots! Who knew?! Actually, it makes perfect sense because the moisture wicking properties in SmartKnitKIDS socks help to cut down on rubbing and irritation caused by moisture. The completely seamless nature of our socks eliminate other sources of irritation and pressure points. Our socks are actually great at helping to prevent these small injuries from occurring keeping your kiddos active and in the game.
Our team at SmartKnitKIDS encourages kids to get active and be involved in youth sports. It’s a great way to build confidence, develop teamwork and maintain a healthy lifestyle. And even though our socks can prevent the blisters, it’s important to remember the following things to prevent the serious injuries from occurring.
- Get a Pre-Participation Physical Exam – Most school organized sports will require children to receive these physicals before participating. They are a great way to help diagnose any medical conditions that may put your child at risk. Many sports for younger children don’t require a physical in order to participate, but it doesn’t hurt to mention to your pediatrician any sports or physical activities your child will be playing.
- Develop a Hydration Culture – Always send your child to practice with plenty of water – especially during the hotter months. Make sure your child is well hydrated before arriving at practice, and that coaches are allowing frequent hydration breaks throughout practice.
- Stretch Before Practicing – A good warmup before practices or games will help keep muscles loose and prevent tears or sprains. Always build in plenty of time for warm up into any practice and arrive early prior to games in order to warm up.
- Develop an Off Season – Children are children and it’s important not to push them too hard or let them push themselves too hard either. Most sports medicine specialists recommend 10 consecutive weeks of rest from any one sport in a year’s time.
- Wear the Right Gear – Each child should wear all appropriate safety gear (helmets, shin guards, mouth guards, cups, shoulder pads, knee pads, etc.) for both practices and games. Ensure that the gear is the right size and is being worn correctly to prevent injury.
- Don’t Forget Sunscreen – Whenever you are outdoors for longer periods of time, sunscreen is definitely in order. Many stores will carry sweat proof sunscreen specifically designed for sports. Remember that the sun can be damaging even when cloudy or even when the temperature is cool. And, make sure to rub some on the whole family, not just the athlete.
- Be Prepared for Minor or Major Emergencies – At least one coach or parent volunteer should be certified in first aid or CPR. Keep a first aid kit and cell phone handy with your sports equipment. Make sure you know the address of where you’re at in case you need to relay that information to an ambulance. Be able to recognize the signs of dehydration or concussion.
- Eat a Healthy Diet – Grabbing some chicken nuggets from the McDonald’s drive through on the way to a game is sometimes necessarily convenient for many parents. But, make an effort to feed your child foods that provide essential vitamins and minerals, as well as lean protein which will help build muscles. Carbohydrates in moderation are a good fuel for right before a game or practice, but avoid foods high in sugar or fat.
- Get Adequate Sleep – Sleep allows your body to refuel – something that is always important, but especially so when playing sports. Got an early Saturday morning game? Make sure the kids get in bed early on Friday night so they will get enough sleep. Children should get the following based on their age:
- 3 to 6 year olds: 10 to 12 hours
- 7 to 12 year olds: 10 to 11 hours
- 12 to 18 year olds: 8 to 9 hours
With that SmartKnitKIDS wishes all of our young athletes a successful season! Play hard, Stay safe and healthy, and Do your best!
** Disclaimer – Not to take the place of medical advice. Always consult with your doctor about health concerns.