Tips on Preventing Childhood Sports Injuries
By Janet Howard
It's one of a parent's typical worries. The phone rings at work. "Ms. Ramirez? Your son Raoul was injured during football practice. His knee may be badly hurt."
Childhood sports injuries like Raoul's may be inevitable, but there are some things a parent can do to help prevent them:
If your child receives a soft tissue injury, commonly known as a sprain or a strain, or a bone injury, the best immediate treatment is easy to remember. "RICE" (rest, ice, compression and elevation) the injury. Get professional treatment if any injury is severe. A severe injury means having an obvious dislocation of the bone or joint, prolonged swelling or pain.
Heat-related illnesses are another type of sports injury requiring close monitoring. Children perspire less than adults and need a higher core body temperature to trigger sweating.
Also, don't forget to have children wear sunscreen and a hat to reduce the chance of sunburn. Sun protection may also decrease the chances of malignant melanoma a potentially deadly skin cancer or other skin cancers that can occur later in life. It is also very important that your child has access to water or a sports drink to stay properly hydrated while playing.
Even though Raoul got hurt, his involvement in sports is important. Exercise may reduce his chances of obesity, which is becoming more common in children. It may also lessen his risk of diabetes, a disease that is sometimes associated with a lack of exercise and poor eating habits. Sports also help children build social skills and provides them with a general sense of well-being.
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