Understanding the Risks: Increased Safety Awareness in Youth Sports

In August 22, 2016

Youth sports are a lot of fun for both the child and parents. Kids get a chance to learn about teamwork, parents get to see their children find their passion, and of course, everyone enjoy steam pizza nights. Participation in youth sports is growing with the expansion of coed teams and new sports being introduced to schools, which is why there is a call for increased safety awareness in youth sports. Many schools are updating equipment to better protect their athletes and revisiting how they prevent and treat concussions as well. If your child currently plays a sport or is thinking about joining a team, it is important for you, your child, and the coach to be aware of standard safety precautions.

Movies such as Concussion, which was released in 2015, have started a larger conversation about sports related injuries in general. Bringing awareness to the detrimental effects that repetitive concussions can have on the brain, more and more athletes, trainers, and coaches are starting to take sports injuries much more seriously. Injury prevention and treatment are no longer just concerns for professional athletes, but also for youth athletes and their coaches. The call for increased safety awareness within youth sports largely stems from the fact that a child may not understand the proper ways to prevent injury or the symptoms of a serious injury, thus putting them at a higher risk of injury. Sports safety awareness is not just limited to contact sports, such as football, rugby or wrestling, it is for all youth sports. While concussions are most commonly discussed, athletes should also be aware of potential heat-related injuries and any cardiovascular conditions or underlying health issues that could pose a threat to their safety. This is why preseason physicals, proper training, and injury prevention education is so important.

As a parent to a youth sports athlete, you should be sure that your child’s team is regularly teaching youth safety awareness and prevention tips. If you are looking for outside support, there are programs such as the Youth Sports Safety Alliance which has resources for parents, athletes, and coaches to use for teaching sports safety and for making policy changes to enforce safety.

Make sure your child’s sports season goes smoothly by helping them stay safe! Start organizing any personal vital records you’ll need to enroll your child in the sport of their choice. You will typically be required to show proof of identity, age, and residence when signing up for most youth sports. Learn more about what you will need to sign your child up for youth sports here.

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