Categorized | Safety, Toddler Proofing

Sports Safety For Children

Encouraging a toddler to take part in sports is a great way to boost a toddler’s development and health. However, there is always a risk of injury. Parents can follow these sports safety guide for children to help reduce that threat.

Choose Age-appropriate Sports

The number one sports safety rule for children is to pick a sport that suit a child’s age and capability. Children under the age of five are still not ready to play organized sports such as martial arts, gymnastics, golf and track and field. This is because it puts too much pressure on a child who is still developing his dexterity. Sports such as running, kickball, biking (with training wheels or a tricycle), climbing and soccer are best for smaller children.

Have A Physical Examination

Before going into any sport, child health experts recommend children to go through a physical examination. A physical examination is necessary to determine whether or not a child is fit enough to play sports. An overweight, underweight, out of shape or a child with restricted mobility is at risk for injury as compared to children who are more physically competent. Having this test also helps point out any problems early on so the toddler’s doctor can come up with methods to treat these deficiencies.

Use The Right Gear

Every sport has its own gear. It is very important for parents to provide gear that protects, fits correctly and is appropriate for the sport. Protective eyewear is recommended for a toddler who will play soccer, knee pads and helmets with an adjustable strap for biking and for other sports that can bruise or scratch a toddler’s face and mouth guard for basketball. See to it that the child understands the proper use of the gears.

Make Sure There Is A Warm-up and Cool-down Period

Warm-up and cool-down periods are necessary for any sport. The warming up period is essential to get the body ready into good condition and prepares cardiac function for increased activity and minimizes the threat of stress being placed on the heart. The cooling down period is vital for slowly cooling the body down from rigorous physical activity and also help normalize breathing and heart rate.

Hydrate

Also one of the most important sports safety tip for children is to stay hydrated. Playing physically demanding activities can be draining and inadequate water supply in the body can lead to dehydration. Hence, it is imperative for parents to ensure that they provide their toddlers plenty of water or sports drink to replenish the lost fluids in the body.

Use Sunscreen

Children who are into sports must use sunscreen. The sun’s harmful UV (ultraviolet) rays can cause damage to a child’s sensitive skin and may cause skin cancer later in life. Make it a habit to apply sunscreen to the toddler’s skin at least 30 minutes before he goes out. Choose a sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher and has UVA and UVB protection.

Practice A Healthy Lifestyle

No, this does not mean a child who is active in sports can only eat fruits and vegetables forever. A bar of chocolate or a glass of soft drink every now and then is fine as long as the toddler has a healthy diet. In addition, getting plenty of rest is also very important to allow the toddler to recuperate after a rigorous event.

Seek Medical Care

Never let a child who is tired or hurt (no matter how minor) to participate in a sporting event. A toddler can develop bone fracture and a sprained muscle can easily become a torn muscle. Consult the doctor at once if the toddler is injured or develops symptoms that impedes with the toddler’s aptitude to play.

Sports can be a source of enjoyment for children, help them develop their skills and learn values. But, parents should always remember these sports safety tips for children to ensure their precious ones are safe and sound.

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