Health & Happiness: Keeping Kids Healthy and Safe in School Sports

By Dr. Bryen Bell

Back to school season has arrived and one of the main things on every parent’s mind is keeping their child healthy and safe in school sports. Undoubtedly, even with the possible dangers, most parents recognize the benefits of sports participation. Kids burn off excess energy, learn team participation, and reap the physical benefits of an athletic, active lifestyle. Unfortunately, school sports are not without peril. The American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine reported that last year over a 3.5 million children under the age of 14 were treated for an injury sustained during sports, the most common reported injuries being sprains, broken bones, bruises, concussions, and overuse injuries.

Steps to Keep Kids Healthy and Safe During School Sports

As a parent, you want to keep your child safe but still let the youngster enjoy school sports. Here are several steps that you can take to ensure your kid’s safety this school sports season.

The Right Gear Matters in School Sports Safety:

Many schools supply necessary gear, but some protective items parents are expected to purchase protective. You must make sure that the helmet and mouth-guards fit your child correctly. Pads should also match your little one’s form. Sure, it’s tempting to purchase second-hand items or bestow on a younger child their older sibling’s gear, but this can put your child at risk of sustaining an injury on the field. If you are unsure about the equipment or the proper fit, then don’t hesitate to contact your child’s coach for their input.

Teach Your Kids About the Equipment:

Even though you might think that your kid’s coach will teach the proper use of equipment and emphasize the importance of warming up, you might be wrong, not all coaches are the same. As a parent who wants to keep their child safe, you need to teach your kid how to use their equipment, and as well as taking the time to teach stretching before exercise. Correct stretching prevents muscle tears, tension, and sprains.

Supervise After-School and Weekend Sports:

At school, your child will be supervised during team sport, but lots of kids want to continue the fun and practice after school and on the weekends. It is vital that you or some other parent be present during such extracurricular activities to ensure everyone’s safety.

Healthy Eating:

Your child is going to need fuel to participate in school sports. You must make sure that your youngster maintains a healthy diet to keep their body in tip-top shape. Provide healthy meals and snacks at all times.

Hydration is Very Important:

Any time your little one is physically active they are going to need to stay hydrated. During school, many kids don’t drink a sufficient amount of water. It is often hard for them to properly hydrate after school and in the evening. Ideally, your child needs to drink 15 to 20 minutes before participation in any sport. If they are performing in a high-intensity sport, then hydrate one hour before the activity. Your child might also benefit from sports drinks that replenish electrolytes, sodium, and potassium that are depleted from sweating.

Sit It Out:

If your child doesn’t feel well or is in pain, then let them know it is okay to sit it out. Playing when a child is not at peak performance puts the kid at risk of sustaining a severe injury.

This sports season, for whole family natural health and wellness solutions, don’t forget your spine and nervous system! .

Dr. Bryen A. Bell is a Board-Certified Chiropractic Physician with 20 years of professional experience. He practices with his wife and operates True Potential Chiropractic, a professionally endorsed, award-winning family care facility. Questions regarding any information in this article please contact 503-574-4872. Or visit them online at Photo by Ben Hershey on Unsplash