As part of our au pairs’ continuing education during their time in the U.S., local childcare coordinators for Cultural Care Au Pair facilitate three Continuing Safety Education units per year. These units, created in partnership with Safe Kids USA remind au pairs about seasonal safety issues to keep in mind as they strive to keep their host children happy and safe. In addition to these core topics. Safe Kids USA reviews many other safety information online, one of which is sports injury prevention—an apropos topic for fall.
The following sports injury prevention tips compiled by Safe Kids USA are great for parents to review themselves and to share with their childcare providers.
Regardless of how or where injuries occur, the answer is not to take your kids out of sports altogether. According to studies, playing sports has been show to improve their health, help them make friends, positively impact their self-esteem, help them succeed at school and prompt them to become more active with their family.
So, what can we do as parents and caregivers to protect our children? SafeKids Worldwide recommends that athletes and their parents educate themselves on sports injury prevention and put what they learn into practice. They should also support coaches and officials in making decisions to prevent serious injuries.
Make sure children are prepared for the demands of playing a sport.
- All children should receive a general health exam before enrolling in any sport.
- Provide children with proper aerobic conditioning and skills-building when they are learning a new sport, so that they are physically and psychologically conditioned for its demands.
- Ensure that children drink an adequate amount of liquids before and during athletic activities. Provide frequent rest periods during hot or humid weather.
- Rest periods during practice and games can reduce injuries and prevent heat illness, as well as at least 1 day off per week.
Adult supervision is essential.
- Adults should be present at all times to ensure a safe playing environment and the enforcement of safety rules.
- Children should be grouped according to skill level, weight and physical maturity – especially for contact sports.
Ask about the safety-related policies of your local sports leagues.
- Coaches and other on-field personnel should be trained in first aid and CPR.
- Make sure proper safety technique is reinforced during the playing season.
Use of appropriate safety equipment is important.
- Children should always wear sport-specific, properly fitting safety gear when participating in sports:
- Baseball and Softball: Batting helmet, shin guards, elbow guards, athletic supporters (males), mouth guard, sunscreen, cleats, hat and detachable “breakaway bases.”
- Basketball: Mouth guard, athletic supporters (males), proper shoes, eye protection, elbow and kneepads and water.
- Football: Helmet, mouth guard, shoulder pads, athletic supporters (males), chest/rib pads, forearm, elbow, thigh pads, shin guards, proper shoes, sunscreen and water.
- Soccer: Shin guards, athletic supporters (males), proper fitting cleats, sunscreen and water.
- Track and Field: Proper fitting shoes, sunscreen and water.
Here’s to a safe fall season!