Safety for Children Engaging in Sporting Activities

Teens and children are rigorous and playful; a character which keeps them committed to different games most of the time. This nature is also dangerous to the participants, as the vibrant nature of sports poses numerous risks of injuries to them.  With the large number of different sporting activities, there are also large number of injuries as well, which costs the participants and their families’ time and resources.

Obviously, some sports are more dangerous than others. For example, contact sports such as football can be expected to result in a higher number of injuries than a non contact sport such as swimming. However, all types of sports have a potential for injury, whether from the trauma of contact with other players or from overuse or misuse of a body part.

Injury rates:

More than 3.5 million children ages 14 and younger get hurt annually playing sports or participating in recreational activities.

Although death from a sports injury is rare, the leading cause of death from a sports-related injury is a brain injury.

Sports and recreational activities contribute to approximately 21 percent of all traumatic brain injuries among American children.

Almost 50 percent of head injuries sustained in sports or recreational activities occur during bicycling, skateboarding, or skating incidents.

More than 775,000 children, ages 14 and younger, are treated in hospital emergency rooms for sports-related injuries each year. Most of the injuries occurred as a result of falls, being struck by an object, collisions, and overexertion during unorganized or informal sports activities.

Sourced From: http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/pediatrics/sports_injury_statistics_90,p02787/

Casualties have been in sports all along. With this challenge posing a menace to players, it was necessary to develop protective gear to minimize the risk of injuries in sports. These inventions usually cater for the most vulnerable parts of the body, especially the head, eyes, joints and mouth. Not all the protective gear can be used in every game, their use in one sport may be the opposite in another.

Helmets

Helmets are basic protective equipment and many people tend to not use them due to the fact that most are bulky and feels uncomfortable. However, helmets are important if you are engaging in sports such as inline skating, skiing, cycling, hockey and baseball. Make sure that the helmet you are wearing is meant for the particular sporting activity.

Eyewear

Eyewear is also essential protection equipment that is often neglected by people. Most eyewear is made of polycarbonate which provides good impact protection for the eyes. Activities such as ice hockey and baseball require adequate eye protection. It is important to use eyewear that is certified as non-certified ones will shatter upon impact and the shrapnel will injure the eyes. If you wear glasses, make sure you purchase one that has prescription lenses.

Mouthpieces

Mouthpieces are important if you are playing contact sports. Mouthpieces cover your teeth and gums and prevent injuries to them. If you are intending to participate in sporting activities such as football, hockey, boxing and wrestling, you should invest in a good quality custom moulded mouthpiece.

Footwear

Different sporting activities require the use of different footwear mainly due to different demands and playing surfaces of the activity. For example, although soccer and rugby are played on the same surface, they require different boots to be worn mainly due to the different demands and rules. Rugby boots require bigger studs to allow better gripping of the surface.

Sourced From: http://www.orthopaedics.com.sg/importance-of-wearing-protective-equipment-for-sports

Participating in sports is necessary for kids’ physical, mental and psychological well-being. With these positive results come other risky consequences too. Kids are bound to suffer sport related problems due to exposure to different environmental conditions, lack of preparation and worse of all, sustaining injuries.  It is thus important considering that parents and coaches ensure proper guidance and care for kids during sports.

Key Prevention Tips

Gear up. When children are active in sports and recreation, make sure they use the right protective gear for their activity, such as helmets, wrist guards, knee or elbow pads.

Use the right stuff. Be sure that sports protective equipment is in good condition, fits appropriately and is worn correctly all the time—for example; avoid missing or broken buckles or compressed or worn padding. Poorly fitting equipment may be uncomfortable and may not offer the best protection.

Practice makes perfect. Have children learn and practice skills they need in their activity. For example, knowing how to tackle safely is important in preventing injuries in football and soccer. Have children practice proper form – this can prevent injuries during baseball, softball, and many other activities. Also, be sure to safely and slowly increase activities to improve physical fitness; being in good condition can protect kids from injury.

Pay attention to temperature. Allow time for child athletes to gradually adjust to hot or humid environments to prevent heat-related injuries or illness. Parents and coaches should pay close attention to make sure that players are hydrated and appropriately dressed.

Sourced From: http://www.cdc.gov/safechild/sports_injuries/index.html