Riding a bike, skateboarding or playing a game of baseball at the park is a lot of fun, but accidents can happen. It’s important to wear the right equipment to avoid injuries. Using the wrong, or improperly fitted equipment is a major cause for injuries in playing games and sports.
Before wearing any protective equipment, you should always check it for proper fit and replace worn out equipment. For example, replace a child’s bike helmet if it has been in a bike accident or is damaged (cracked or dented) from being used.
Don’t forget to warm up before playing. Muscles that have not been warmed up the right way tend to be injured more easily.
- Start out with some light cardiovascular activities, such as easy jogging, jumping jacks, or brisk walking, to get your muscles moving and blood circulating.
- Follow your warm-up with some stretches. Stretching works best after a warm-up because your ligaments and tendons are more elastic (flexible) due to the increase in heat and blood flow to the muscle.
- Do not over do your play, game or sport. If you increase how often, how long or how hard you play too fast, you might see better performance at first, but this can lead to injuries later.
Use our Health Powered Kids lesson, “Staying safe during physical activity” to help kids think about the different ways they can keep themselves safe during sports or other activities.
For more information about keeping kids healthy during sports, check out our Healthy Set Go blog, “Time out! Don’t let kids play injured”, written by Paresh Ghodge, MD, CAQ.