Be a Good Sport
If you think you might have a budding Pele or Shaq on your hands, make sure your young athlete learns safety first. According to the US National Institutes of Health, there are over 2.38 million sports injuries a year among children ages 5-14. To prevent your child from being one of them, teach them these guidelines:
Strap on protective gear: Depending on the game, it may include helmets, mouth guards, shin, knee, and elbow pads, or cleats. Make sure their gear fits well and is strapped securely in place.
Warm up and cool down: Have them start each game with a warm–up exercise and end with a cool–down session to allow muscles to stretch and increase blood flow.
Follow the rules: When players understand the rules of the game, fewer injuries occur. Make sure your kid knows what’s acceptable and what’s not.
Take time to recoup: It’s tempting to let your child continue playing if they’ve been sick, even if they’re not contagious. But recuperation is important. Check with your doctor first — if need be, keep your child at home until they’ve fully recovered and are ready to get back into the game.