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Sports Safety: A Parent’s Role

Author: CHKD Sports Medicine, Shelby Gregory, LAT, ATC
Published Date: Friday, October 09, 2020

By Shelby Gregory, LAT, ATC, CHKD Sports Medicine

When it comes to sports, parents need to be more than their child’s No. 1 fan. It’s important that you are also an advocate for your child’s health and safety.

The role you play in your child’s safety is critical for their physical and psychological well-being, as well as their athletic performance. In the event of an acute injury, ensure your child receives appropriate and timely medical care. Depending on the type of injury and its severity, your athlete may receive care from their school’s athletic trainer, a primary care physician, a sports medicine physician, a physical therapist, or a variety of other healthcare professionals.

You can have a major influence on preventing overuse injuries in your child by encouraging them to rest and seek care when they begin experiencing pain. You should also watch for signs that your child has reached their limit and be their advocate to coaches. Although it may be difficult, you may need to say “no” to coaches who demand an excessive amount of training time.

Here are some other strategies you can use to keep your child safe during sports:

  • Get to know the athletic trainers or other healthcare professionals who will be providing medical coverage during game or events.
  • Know what type of safety training and certifications your child’s coaches have completed.
  • Ensure there is an emergency action plan in place.
  • Ensure your child has access to safe and appropriate equipment.
  • Have your child cleared by a medical professional each year to be sure it is safe for them to participate in sports.
  • Be sure your athlete is still having fun while participating in their sport.
  • Know the signs and symptoms, and what to do, for sports-related injuries or illnesses such as:
    • Concussions
    • Heat illnesses or dehydration
    • Overuse injuries
    • Cardiac issues or cardiac arrest

About CHKD Sports Medicine

CHKD's sports medicine program offers the most comprehensive care for your young athlete. From diagnosis and treatment to customized rehabilitation plans, we specialize in physical therapy and injury prevention programs for active children and teens. Our team is composed of pediatric orthopedic surgeons, sports medicine specialists, physician assistants, certified athletic trainers and pediatric sports medicine physical therapists.

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