With each new school year comes a slew of new teachers, friends, classes, and extracurricular activities for children. There are also a whole new set of sports leagues and activities — which means that injuries can and do occur.
While some injuries are inevitable, there is plenty you can do as a parent to help prevent sports injuries in the new school year. Below are a few tips for keeping your students safe and healthy, while also encouraging them to be active.
Get a Preseason Physical
Many sports programs actually require that students get a preseason physical before they take the field. Even if it isn’t a requirement, it’s a good idea to have your son or daughter get a check-up at the start of a new school year or before taking on a new physical activity. Such check-ups ensure that a child is fit to play and doesn’t have any health concerns that a school or coach should be aware of. Don’t have time to make a doctor’s appointment before the first day of practice? Consider getting a convenient walk-in physical at your local urgent care center.
Ensure a Well Balanced Diet
Just because students are getting exercise doesn’t mean that they don’t need to eat a healthy diet. Make sure your kids are getting a well-balanced diet in order to perform their best. This should include lots of whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables. Students who are well nourished with whole foods are less likely to get cramps and sprains while out on the court or field.
Warm-up and Cool-down
Make stretching a must before and after any physical activity! Stretching is proven to reduce the risk of injury during physical activity. Doctors recommend a combination of static stretches, such as toe touches, and dynamic stretches such as jumping jacks. And don’t just limit stretching to before a game or practice. It’s always a good idea to finish physical activity with a bit of stretching as well.
Treat Injuries Early
When a dreaded injury does occur, don’t ignore it, no matter how small it may seem. Ice any injuries immediately and make sure that children rest any injuries before resuming their practice. If an injury continues to be painful after 48 hours or reoccurs multiple times, it’s a good idea to seek medical attention. It isn’t uncommon for young athletes to ignore a minor injury or continue playing through the pain. This is a dangerous practice that could worsen the injury or lead to a more permeant lesion down the road.
Making Use of Your Urgent Care Center
When it comes to keeping young athletes safe and healthy, your local urgent care center is your friend. Whether it’s to get a preseason physical or to seek medical attention for a sprained ankle, an urgent care center will be able to provide your children with the care they need to have a safe and successful sports season. Check online to find a reputable urgent care center with a track record of positive reviews near you.