Kids Health for Sports Season

How to keep kids safe and healthy during sports season

As Spring begins, more sports teams will be starting practice. Athletics can have an incredibly positive impact on kids and young adults, not just physically, but emotionally and socially, as well. Joining a sports team also means learning about safety and how to participate without risking an injury.

Broadway pediatrician, Dr. Michael Mazzotta, shares some helpful sports safety tips to keep your family happy and healthy throughout the season:

#1: Wear the right protective gear and warm up
The proper protective equipment is key to reducing injuries. Be sure helmets and pads are the right size for your young athlete.
Arrive a little early to be sure your child gets an opportunity to warm-up and get ready ahead of game-time. A warm-up session can also help kids who are a little anxious or hesitant get more comfortable in a new environment or with a new group of teammates.

#2: Practice sun safety
Apply sunscreen before you go out and reapply every couple of hours.
If you are going to be at fields without shade, you may want to invest in some type of portable shade.

#3 Stay hydrated
Most children just need water not sports or energy drinks. Sports drinks are high in sugar and usually only needed for prolonged, strenuous activities. Energy drinks should be avoided due to caffeine and other additives.

#4: Injuries and first aid
Teams should have a first aid kit ready and ice packs on-hand. If there is any concern about a concussion or another significant injury, your child should stop playing and be evaluated by a medical professional.
If your child is experiencing severe pain, contact the Broadway Medical office or go straight to urgent or emergency care.

#5: Recovery
Making sure kids get adequate rest is very important for their well being, growth, development, and academic and athletic performance. Make sleep a priority. Try to eat a diet that is rich in fresh fruits and vegetables. Try to stay away from processed foods that are high in sugar, salt, and fat. Drink plenty of water.

#6: Keep it fun and stay active
Try to be active almost every day. Aim to help children develop a healthy and active lifestyle that will help them grow into healthy adults. Kids should have a break between seasons or consider rotating through different sports and activities to avoid overuse injury and burnout.

If your child is in need of a sports physical, or if you have questions or concerns about a recent sports injury, be sure to schedule an appointment with Dr. Mazzotta or another Broadway pediatrician.