HKQ Kids

Spring Sports Safety

You can never be 100% sure in northeast PA, but it looks like spring weather may have sprung! And with the return of sunny weather comes the return of kids playing outdoors. From team sports to playing around in the backyard or at the playground, here are a couple of tips to keep your kids safe when they’re playing outside.

Remember to stretch and warm-up beforehand. Doing something like jumping jacks or a few simple stretches for 5 minutes before practice or a game can help prevent injuries. Using the same muscles often, which is guaranteed to happen when playing sports, can lead to overuse injuries, but these can be prevented by warm-ups and stretching.

This goes for all kids, but especially those involved in high-activity sports -- make sure your kids remember to drink plenty of water before/during/after playing, especially when it starts to get hot out. Dehydration can be dangerous in these situations; make sure to bring extra water, and be on the lookout for nausea and fatigue, as these are signs that your child may be dehydrated.

When it comes to bikes, skateboards, and scooters, make sure your kids are using helmets. Even if your child seems experienced enough with their set of wheels, accidents can still happen. Common complaints from kids include helmets being uncomfortable or uncool but remind them that hitting their head isn’t that comfortable or cool either, and could lead to serious damage. Keep in mind that if a helmet has actually protected your child’s head in a fall or accident, it’s time to get a replacement one; helmets aren’t designed to withstand multiple collisions.

Be prepared for injuries, both big and small. Parents and coaches should have first aid kits at the ready to treat scrapes, bruises and brush burns. Bandages, ice packs, and ointments are essentials. Additionally, it can never hurt to be CPR certified; it can only help. Especially at practices and games, make sure at least one person in the immediate area can competently perform CPR.

Of course, the sun itself can pose a risk for kids and spectators. Most dermatologists recommend sunscreen products with an SPF rating of 30, but this alone isn’t a perfect solution. If your kids or you are outside for an extended amount of time, remember to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours or so, more frequently if perspiring or swimming. Sunscreen protection doesn’t last forever.

For more tips, go to HKQKids.org or find us on Facebook.