Contact sports are awesome for children of all ages. Those who participate in sports such as football, hockey, lacrosse and many others will learn valuable life long skills such as teamwork and hard work that they will be able to carry on with them well into the future. Sports are a great way for our children to stay fit and to have a great time with all of their buddies.  Although sports do provide many valuable assets for our children’s lives, they do pose some risks and dangers. 
Due to the physicality of some contact sports, athletes are at risk for injuries such as concussions, torn ligaments and the very common sprains and bruises.  With these injuries being normal occurrences in sports, it is our job as parents to help prevent and protect our children from injuries as much as we can.  Here is some information on how we as parents can protect our children from two very common sports related injuries:
Heat-Related Injuries
I’m not sure about your families, but the summer time is our favorite time of the year.  Not only do we get to take fun vacations and do things as a family but the kids get to play outside, hang with friends and obviously participate in sports. 
Although the weather is normally beautiful during the summer, sometimes temperatures along with humidity can become to high and children may be at risk for dehydration or even heat stroke while participating in sports.  Here are a few ways that we can keep our children not only safe but also cool during the hot summer months:
-Make sure they are wearing sunscreen
-Light clothing should be worn at all times, look to purchase clothing that is made of dri-fit material rather than cotton. 
-Stay hydrated: Make sure water is readily available for players at all times during practices and games.
-Make sure our children are consuming water not only during physical activity but also gradually during the day leading up to practice or a game.

Concussions
Concussions have received a considerable amount of press in recent years, and studies have shown that repeated concussions are more dangerous than previously thought
First hand signs of a concussion can range from a headache to temporary loss of consciousness to nausea and vomiting.  Concussions have even been linked to long-term problems such as memory loss and hearing loss.
In the case of hearing loss, if permanent, the use of hearing aids may be worn to help increase hearing levels. 
Concussions are very serious issues not only in professional sports but also in the sports that our children play today.  Fortunately, new guidelines are in place in all sports to help better protect athletes. Here are some of the guidelines that should be followed:– Anyone who gets a concussion needs to be examined immediately and again before returning to play
– Players must avoid contact until all symptoms have resolved for at least five days
– Proper technique can reduce the likelihood of concussions; football, lacrosse and hockey players should never hit with their heads
As parents we can help in many ways as well:
-Make sure our kids are equipped with proper equipment
-Make sure all equipment fits correctly.  If equipment is issued from the school, take the time to run through each item with your children stressing not only the value of each but also to see if they fit properly.
-If your child has experienced a hit or experiencing a headache for a long period of time, make an appointment with your family physician to have them checked out. 
Heat related issues and concussions are just a few injuries that may occur during the participation of contact sports.  Fortunately, both injuries mentioned above can be prevented if the proper precautionary steps are taken.  As parents it is our job to always protect our children, following some of the tips in this article can ensure safety for our children while playing sports. 
John O’Connor, is a father, outdoors man, sports enthusiast and passionate about living a healthy lifestyle.  Check out his new blog at bloggingwjohno.blogspot.com!

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4 thoughts on “John O’connor’s Guide to Contact Sports-Common Injuries And How To Prevent Them

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