Playing sports is fun, but 3.5 million sports injuries occur each year in children age 14 and under, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Fortunately, most accidents can be prevented:

  • Make sure your child has the emotional and physical skills required for the sport he’s interested in.

  • Find a coach who has a knowledge of the sport, is trained in first aid, enforces rules, stresses safety and doesn’t push injured children to play.

  • Support your child, and don’t pressure him to perform beyond his emotional or physical ability.

  • Ensure that your child starts any sport in peak physical condition by strengthening the muscles used in his sport.

  • Obtain a doctor’s physical before beginning a sport.

  • Have your child warm up by taking a few minutes before and after each game to stretch and jog.

  • Verify that sports equipment fits your child correctly and is kept in proper condition.

  • Keep your child’s fluid intake up by having her drink water, juice or a sports drink every 20-30 minutes of play.

  • Be alert to the body’s warning signals – don’t allow your child to push through numbness, swelling or redness. Seek medical attention.

From Focus on Your Child’s Tween Ages, April 2008. Published by Focus on the Family. © 2008 Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. International copyright secured. Used by permission. 

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