Playing sports is a great way for children to get active, learn important social skills, and develop coordination. The activities are fun and encourage families to spend more time together. For all the benefits of youth sports, however, there is one major drawback. Some sports are frankly very dangerous for children to participate in, and without careful protection, children’s lives can be forever changed by one sports related accident. Here are some of the most dangerous sports children can participate in and how to reduce the risk of injury:
- Football. The all American sport is responsible for the majority of concussions and brain injuries children receive during sports related activities. The contact sport can be rough and lead to other injuries like ACL tears, contusions, and freak accidents. If you cannot convince your child that another sport may be better, carefully monitor practices to ensure the coach is putting child safety first. Proper hydration, warming up, and taking extended breaks to avoid overexertion are all important ways teams can reduce the risk of accidents and injury.
- Ice hockey. For easily discernible reasons, ice hockey accidents can be brutal for children and adults. While proper training can help children learn how to move and skate safely for the sport, flying pucks, blades, and sticks can all hit a small child with brute force and cause injury even in a friendly game. Make sure your child always wears a helmet and the proper protective gear, whether practicing or playing a game.
- Baseball. Baseball is a classic pastime, but there is no doubt that a sport with balls flying at the speed of a car can do damage if children are not prepared. Batters and catchers should always wear helmets. Overexertion injuries are also common in games like baseball, where a pitcher may throw several balls in a row, and a batter may overextend his arm during a swing. Encourage children to listen to their bodies and stop playing if they feel pain. Many of these injuries can become severe without adequate rest.
- Volleyball, basketball, and soccer. These popular sports are not as contact-intensive, but they do have an element of player-to-player contact that can be dangerous. All of these sports saw an increased risk of injury from 2007-2012, many due to blocking, pivoting, and movements in close proximity to other players.
These sports have an element of physical contact. That is part of what makes them fun, but it can also make them dangerous. Many young athletes may also start vying for a starring role on the team at a young age to earn notice by college recruiters. The competitive atmosphere combined with unsafe training and performance habits can lead to early injuries that prevent children from ever being able to perform at a college or professional level.
Safety Tips for Young Athletes
In addition to physical injury from contact with other players or a ball, many of these athletes are also prone to injuries from severe dehydration during warm weather. Here are some tips for encouraging safe playing habits in your children and sports teams:
- Wear protective gear. Show kids examples of professionals wearing protective gear and make it seem cool by describing it like armor instead of safety gear mom and dad are forcing children to wear.
- Warm up. Overextension injures can often be avoided if children will take the time to properly warm up before starting to play. Turn it into a habit, and the practice will help your child keep his or her joints and muscles in good playing shape for years to come.
- Take a break. Encourage children to listen to their bodies and take a break if they need one.
If your child has been injured in a sports related accident due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another person, contact Jeff Benton, Dallas child injuries attorney at (214) 777-7777