In the digital age we encourage our kids to get outside and play. Parents also encourage their children to engage in a sport. While some of these kids actually become the new generation of professional football players or ice skaters, the rest of them simply get in shape by doing sports.
There is one single issue from a mother’s point of view: sports injuries. You don’t want to see your child in pain, so preventing these injuries is your main goal each time your little one has a match.
According to Dr. Melepura, pain management specialist, kids don’t suffer the same type of injuries as adults. The little ones are prone to injuries related to overusing the same tendons or muscles, which results in pain and inflammation. Their weakest points are where their growth plates are open, like the knees and the heels. You can protect them from certain types of injuries, as you encourage your child to play sports.
One of the biggest mistakes which leads to sports injuries in kids is specializing in one sport early on. While this is mandatory for children who want to become pros in a certain sport, according to their coaches, physical therapists warn parents that specialization can promote injuries. As the child is developing and growing, using the same groups of muscles can lead to physical stress and mental burnout. To avoid this you should allow your child to specialize after puberty. Another way to prevent injuries is to make sure the child gets at least three months of rest from the sport they are practicing, each year.
Focus on the game
Many youth programs are led by parents who coach the kids. This means they might lack the required expertise needed to coach. One of the main mistakes made by these parents is that they teach the kids to focus on winning, instead of the actual game. Many parents who coach kids tend to overuse the most gifted children, who can suffer strains and inflammation.
A healthy lifestyle
As a mother you try to teach your child the best practices when it comes to everything in life, including eating and exercising. Teach your child to get enough rest between their matches and eat a well-balanced diet. Their growing bodies need both the sleep and the nutrients provided by a healthy lifestyle, in order to thrive. Lead by example and try to buy only healthy foods when you do the groceries. Proper hydration is also important, so teach your child to drink enough water during the day. As for snacks, nuts and fruits are the best picks.
The most important thing your child needs is to have fun. Sports are about being competitive and learning fair-play, but if your child is not having fun, you shouldn’t pressure them to continue with the sport. If your child is not happy to go to the practice, talk to them and see if they want to quit. The pressure to win and be the best in that sport can easily backfire, adding pressure on the child, which makes them prone to injuries. Having fun is what makes sports great, especially for a child.