The warmth of summer may have taken its final bow; however, this does not mean it’s time to head indoors. During the fall season, children participate in organized sports like football, softball and soccer and every year, more than 3 million of them sustain participation-related injuries.
Even more alarming is that 62 percent of injuries occur during practice periods, not on game day. If you’re the parent of a young athlete, you must take safety precautions even when they’re practicing at home. Here are some of the things you can do to prevent a fall, this fall.
Keep Their Eyes Protected
It’s virtually impossible to protect yourself from a threat that you can’t see. If you’re not forcing your child to wear eye gear while practicing at home, you could be blinding them from a potential threat.
The intensity of summer heat somehow causes people to believe that the sun is somehow more powerful during this season. The sun is always a threat, and it’s always blinding, no matter the time of year. If the child is running in the backyard and is blinded by the sun, they could run into an object or trip and fall.
Even slamming into a fence at a high speed is enough to cause serious injury. Encourage your child to wear proper eyewear when practicing during the day, especially when facing the direction of the sun.
Keep the Ground Clear
As leaves die and fall off the trees, they limit the view of the ground below. If you have several trees in your yard, leaves can completely blanket the area. Remove this covering before allowing your child to practice on the lawn.
The greatest danger leaf cover creates is that it prevents a clear view of the ground. If there are any hidden obstructions, the child could fall and seriously injure themselves – even if it’s an object as small as a tree branch.
Excessive leaf covering can also increase the risk of a fall because leaves are often slippery, this is particularly the case when they are wet. Even if you don’t clear the entire yard, clear their practice space.
Schedule a Checkup Appointment
Most children are quite active during the summer months. There are water parks, swimming pools, bike rides, amusement parks – the list goes on and on. The more active, the greater the threat of an injury. Even in the span of a few short months, a child’s body can change drastically.
Sending your child out at full speed without a health examination places them at an unnecessary risk. This is especially the case if your child took the summer off from training.
An undiagnosed knee injury could send the child crashing down, multiplying their injuries and recovery efforts. Even if the sponsoring organization does not require physicals, you should schedule an appointment for your child before they begin practicing for the season.
Keep Them Hydrated
The average person thinks hydration is especially important during the warmer months of the year. While the need for proper hydration does increase with elevated temperatures, it also doesn’t evaporate during the fall.
Proper hydration improves a young athletes’ stamina and focus; both factors are critical to good form and performance. If the child is weak and tired, they’re less in tune and more likely to hurt themselves.
When performing optimally, this is less concerning. While sports drinks are sometimes helpful, it’s best to keep at least 32 ounces of water nearby during practice. Encourage your child to take frequent water breaks, especially during long training sessions.
Your efforts won’t just keep your child safer, but they will also improve their performance. If you’re concerned that your child may have an injury, The Noyes Knee Institute is here to help. Dr. Noyes and his team will use their years of experience to diagnose and treat your child’s sport-related injury.