Extracurricular sports are great for children for a number of reasons. First of all, playing sports is an excellent way for children to incorporate exercise into their lives. Since exercise may otherwise seem like a task for many children, playing sports is a fun way for them to get in their recommended amount of physical activity on a regular basis. Another important reason why playing sports is a good idea is that it’s great for increasing self-esteem as well as social skills. Despite the fact that playing sports is great for children, certain sports can prove to be quite dangerous, and below, five of the most dangerous sports for children are highlighted.
Football – this is a fun, physical and potentially dangerous sport that many children and teens enjoy playing. My son who is now ten, played football last year and another player’s arm ended up broken. My son is a big boy, but had he been taught proper technique, perhaps the injury could have been avoided. Children don’t automatically know how to tackle in the safest manner if it hasn’t been practiced, and this can result in frequent injuries, especially if a child uses his or her helmet to tackle. These tips can minimize injuries:
. Ensure that full uniform is worn at all times, even during practice.
. Make sure that the coach is teaching proper technique.
. Proper warm-up is essential to improving performance, therefore minimizing injuries.
Basketball – I was shocked to learn that basketball among youth is sometimes more dangerous than other sports. Not many people would think that a group of people running around in shorts chasing a basketball could be so dangerous, but with the frequent aggressive body contact necessary in the sport, injuries can occur in a matter of minutes. There are, however, some ways to keep the amount of injuries to a minimum.
. Stay prepared and alert at all times.
. Wear the appropriate gear-all of it.
. Ensure that no trip hazards exist on the court, such as backpacks, drinks or debris.
Skateboarding – this may seem like a cool sport for most adolescents, but more than 38,000 youths under the age of 14 are hospitalized each year due to skateboarding injuries. This is by no means a reason for you to keep your children from skateboarding, but if your child follows certain precautions, it will lessen the likelihood that he or she will end up in the emergency room with a skateboarding injury. These precautions include:
. Ensure that full protective gear is worn each time you go skateboarding.
. Do not attempt to perform new and complex tricks without much experience.
. Never skateboard in the street.
Swimming – what a wonderful way to keep cool in sweltering weather, however, according to the Center for Disease Control, fatal drowning is the second-leading cause of accidental deaths among children under the age of 14. Here are some tips to keep injuries/deaths to a minimum:
. Never leave a child unsupervised in a pool, even if he or she can swim.
. Ensure that your child wears a life jacket unless he or she is an accomplished swimmer.
. If you have a pool at home, ensuring that the pool area is enclosed and totally separate from the house is important to keep young children from sneaking in the pool unsupervised.
Bicycling – Even though riding a bicycle can be a very enjoyable way for a child to stay active, it’s also the cause of a high number of accidents, usually due to riders being hit by vehicles. Here are some basic tips to reduce the number of bicycle-related accidents.
. Always wear a helmet.
. Stay observant at all times and watch for erratic drivers.
. Always signal with your hands whenever stopping or turning.
. Ensure that your bicycle is in good condition at all times.
AAPS Accident Prevention – orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm
Center for Disease Control Drowning Fact Sheet –
Skateboarding Injury Statistics – www.scumdoctor.com/first-aid/concussion/Statistics-On-Head-Injuries-From-Skateboarding.html