Sports may be fun for kids and parents, but accidents happen. Around one in three children in the US who participate in sports will miss a game this year due to a sports-related injury.

Here are some interesting statistics:

  • More than 46.5 million children participate in sports each year in the United States.
  • One in three children who plays a team sport is injured seriously enough to miss practice or games.
  • Girls are up to eight times more likely to have an ACL injury than boys
  • Most organized sports-related injuries (62 percent) occur during practice rather than in games.
  • The most common types of sports-related injuries among children are sprains, muscle strains, bone or growth plateinjuries, repetitive motion injuries and heat-related illness.

How can you help minimize your child’s risk of injury? Here are some ideas to keep in mind:

  • Playing at their level: Kids should only play on teams with kids whose ages, weights, and skill levels are similar to their own. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t encourage them to advance in sports; it just means their experience should suit the intensity of the game. Practice makes perfect, after all!
  • Equipped for safety: Depending on the sport your child plays, he or she may need shin guards, padding, or a helmet. Be sure your child is wearing all appropriate safety clothing and that none of the equipment is cracked, broken, or otherwise past its prime.
  • Prepared for the elements: Without exception, have your child consume plenty of water at practice and during games. Also be sure the coach has kids warm up before playing on cold days; otherwise, their joints will be more susceptible to injury.

While the risk of injury shouldn’t keep kids from participating in sports, these simple tips will reduce their exposure to harm. Athletics teach kids to work together in pursuit of a common goal. They learn how to win humbly and lose graciously while building a foundation for lifelong fitness. As long as they’re doing their best and having fun, they’re doing it right!

In the event your child is injured on the playing field, take them to Heritage Urgent Care. Our professional staff will have them back on their feet and eager to play again in no time.