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Sports Safety Tips for Kids
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, participating in organized sports and physical activities offers kids many benefits, including prevention of health conditions such as high blood pressure and heart disease, stronger bones and healthy weight maintenance.
But each year, more than five million children seek treatment in hospital emergency rooms because of sports injuries. Do you know how to keep your child safe when he or she is playing sports? This month is National Youth Sports Safety Month, so keep your child safe by following these tips:
- Before your child joins a team or begins practices, take him or her to the doctor for a checkup.
- Every time your child plays or practices, make sure he or she is wearing the required safety equipment.
- Encourage your child to wear a helmet if he or she plays auto and motor sports, equestrian sports, in-line skating, snowmobiling, baseball, football, rugby, softball, bicycling, hockey, skateboarding, wrestling, boxing, lacrosse and skiing. Make sure your child's helmet fits snugly but not too tightly.
- Encourage your child to warm up and stretch before practices and games to prevent injuries.
- See your child's doctor right away if your child is injured or complains of pain or other symptoms.
Sources: American Academy of Pediatrics, www.aap.org; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Child and Adolescent Sports Safety, www.cdc.gov/safeusa/sports/child.htm.