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Published on May 25, 2012

children swimming

Three Strikes, You’re Out: Keep Kids Safe During Summer Sports

Another summer is here, and with it comes all of the usual summertime activities – including a lot of kids participating in sports. Sports are a great way to learn valuable life skills, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and spend some quality time outdoors. To make sure your active child has a safe and enjoyable summer, here are a few tips.

Beat The Heat

Children are not small adults. Kids have their own unique physiology and respond differently to environmental conditions than you and I will. For example, during the summer, heat illness is a concern in children because of their smaller size and the fact that they sweat less than adults do. On a really hot day, make sure there are cool drinks, snacks, and some shade around so they can periodically get out of the sun and cool off. Also, remember that when the humidity is high, the cooling effect of sweating is lessened.

Check Your Child’s Meds

Be aware that certain medications, such as those used in the treatment of ADHD, also make children more susceptible to the effects of the heat.

There’s Something In The Water

Dehydration is another concern and is easily prevented by making sure there are plenty of fluids available and that the kids are periodically taking breaks to drink when it’s really hot out – even if they don’t feel thirsty.

Block The Rays

Of course, don’t forget the sunscreen!

Proper Athletic Training

I see a lot of children with various sports injuries during the summer when they are particularly active. Unfortunately, there is little that can be done to completely prevent most injuries; they occur due to the inherent risk of playing any sport. However, stretching and a good warm-up routine prior to a practice or game can help avoid various strains and sprains and improve performance. Just as beneficial is a good cool down period with stretching at the end of a strenuous activity. Making sure that any protective devices or equipment fit properly and are in proper working condition is also an important part of reducing the risk of injuries.

Fortunately, serious illnesses and injuries are rare in youth sports, and by following these few simple guidelines, the risk can be reduced even more.  So grab your gear, head on out there, and, as always, have fun!

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