Now that children are back in school, many parents will be spending their spare time attending sports practices and games. Recreational and school-related sports activities present a great opportunity for your child to learn about teamwork while staying physically fit and having fun. At the same time, it is important to take the necessary precautions to avoid serious and potentially life-impacting personal injuries. The following provides important information to be aware of regarding how sports injuries commonly occur and the steps you can take to ensure your child stays safe.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than 2.5 million children under the age of 18 are treated in hospital emergency rooms each year as the result of sports and recreational injuries. Common types of injuries young athletes typically suffer include:
- Soft tissue injuries, such as muscle or tendon sprains, strains, and tears
- Broken bones and fractures
- Cuts, serious lacerations, and bruising
- Injuries caused by dehydration and heat exposure
- Back and neck injuries, including fractured vertebrae and herniated discs
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injury (TBI)
Youth sports injuries often occur when players lack the proper training, when they are not provided the proper safety equipment, or when coaches and staff do not provide enough oversight. Some sports, such as contact football, hockey, or diving, are more potentially dangerous than others, but any sport can result in injuries if the proper precautions are not in place.
Protecting Your Child During Practice or Play
There are steps parents can take to help prevent their child from being injured while playing youth sports. These include the following:
- Make sure the sports program they are involved in has properly licensed and trained coaches.
- Make sure the proper safety equipment is provided and used.
- Pay attention to the type of surface your child plays on. It should be made of the appropriate materials and properly maintained.
- In addition to instruction on the rules and training in the proper form and movements, make sure your child receives appropriate time to warm up before practice or play.
- Choose a program that focuses on safety, sportsmanship, and personal development, rather than one that focuses on winning or excessive competition.
- Be particularly alert any time an injury does occur. Even in situations involving minor bumps or blows, players should be referred to their doctor for screening. Make sure your child is allowed the necessary amount of recovery time, and do not allow them to return to play until medically cleared to do so.
Reach Out to an Attorney Today for Help
When youth sports and recreational injuries occur, coaches, staff, and school administrators can be held liable for failing to follow the proper procedures or for not providing safety protections. Unfortunately these injuries can have long term impacts on your child. Contact an attorney today, like a personal injury lawyer, for more information about your specific case.