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Monday, August 2, 2010

How to Play Kids' Sports Safely

How to Play Youth Sports Safely
By Guest Author John Myre

Most kids are going to play organized sports, but they aren't always aware of the potential for injury. Accept that fact. However, that doesn't mean adults can't be involved in making play as safe as possible for our enthusiastic young athletes. Here are some tips to help make games fun and painless.

A Set Of Helpful Standards

The National Alliance For Youth Sports has developed the following standards for parents in developing and administering youth sports for children. Involved parents should:

* Consider and carefully choose the proper environment for their child, including the appropriate age and development for participation, the type of sport, the rules in the sport, the age range of the participants, and the proper level of physical and emotional stress.

* Select youth programs that are developed and organized to enhance the emotional, physical, social and educational well-being of children.

* Encourage a drug, tobacco and alcohol-free environment.

* Recognize that youth sports are only a small part of a child's life.

* Insist that coaches be trained and certified.

* Make a serious effort to take an active role in the youth sports experience of their child.

* Be a positive role model exhibiting sportsmanlike behavior at games, practices, and home, and give positive reinforcement to their child and support to the coaches.

* Demonstrate a commitment to their child's youth sports experience by annually signing a parental code of ethics.

Keeping Sports Fun
* If you decide to let your child play on a "Select" team, recognize that your child may face additional pressures, and you may need to take steps to keep sports at that level in perspective.

* While virtually all coaches want to make sports an enjoyable activity for kids, there are a few coaches who will use their position to exploit children. Following are questions for parents suggested by the Florida branch of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children:

1. Does the organization do a background check on coaches?

2. What is the coach's philosophy about winning and sportsmanship?

3. Are there other adults who supervise off-site travel?

4. Do children use a locker room to dress, and are there multiple adults present in the locker room when children are using it?

5. Do you as a parent have input into the sporting activity?

6. Does the coach promise to make your child a champion player, or want to spend time alone with your child outside of scheduled activities?

7. Do you as a parent talk to your child about how he or she likes the coach or the sport?

Where Does It Hurt?

In every sport there is a risk of injury. To reduce the risk:

* Take your child for a complete physical exam before taking part in any sport. Some children have serious physical conditions that can be aggravated by exertion.

* Become educated on the possible injuries that can occur in the sport. Talk with a sports medicine doctor or trainer to develop a fitness plan, and to get guidelines on preventing overuse injuries.

* Begin conditioning exercises before the season begins.

* Make sure your child has good equipment that fits well.

* Use eye guards and mouth guards for high-risk sports.

* Don't ignore pain. If a child says something hurts, see a sports medicine doctor.

* Buy a book on sports medicine and keep it handy. It will help you treat minor injuries at home. It will also help you oversee your child's general physical condition.

* Insist on safe playing facilities, healthful playing situations, and proper first aid applications.

* Know the answer to these questions: Where is the nearest hospital? How would I get there in an emergency? Who can I call for immediate attention if my child is injured?

* A trainer, parent or coach trained in CPR, and access to a telephone, should be available near the playing field.

* Children are especially vulnerable to overuse injuries because of the softness of their growing bones and the relative tightness of their ligaments and tendons during growth spurts. One way to avoid overuse injuries is to never increase intensity, duration, frequency or distance by more than 10 percent a week.

* Watch the weather. Heat illness can occur when it's hotter than 85 degrees with a humidity of 70 percent or more.

* Make sure your child drinks enough water during a sporting contest. If a child asks for water, give it to him or her. Their body is sending an important signal.

John Myre is the author of the award-winning book, Live Safely in a Dangerous World, and the publisher of the Safety Times Reproducible Articles.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=John_Myre

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1 comment:

Hello Baseball Friend,
I welcome any comments or suggestions. If you have a question or a topic that you would like to read about, please leave a comment and I will try to address that topic as soon as I can. Good luck in the coming season!
Have a great day, Nick