Summer Camp and Activities Safety
Participating in sports is socially and physically beneficial for your child, while running the risk of sports-related injuries, the most common of which are musculoskeletal problems. As our children score and have fun on the field, we as parents should be aware of sprains and strains, growth plate injuries, and of repetitive motion injuries.
To prevent your children from injuring themselves:
- Enroll your child in organized activities, in which coaches are well trained in the proper use of equipment and enforce rules on equipment use.
- Make sure your child consistently uses proper gear and shoes for the particular sport
- Ensure that warm-ups, which make the body’s tissues warmer and more flexible, and cool-downs, which loosen muscles that may have tightened during exercise, are part of the routine before and after sports participation. Encourage your child to stretch to minimize the chance of muscle strain or other soft tissue injury.
- As children are growing, their bones lengthen while muscles and tendons remain shorter. This makes stretching even more important for growing adolescents.
- Schedule regular breaks and make frequent player substitutions.
- Focusing on one sport can lead to repetitive stress injuries. Keeping the children rotating from sport to sport over the year helps prevent this.
- Adolescent females are the fastest growing groups of athletes to suffer from Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL – the central ligament in the knee) tears. Proper training, balance, technique and equipment help prevent this.
- Don’t let your children play if they are tired or in pain.
- As always, ensure that your child stays hydrated and protected from the sun.
Treatment of sports related injuries:
- If your child has a sprain or strain, immediate treatment includes rest, ice, compression and elevation of the injured body part.
- Put an ice bag, cold pack, or a plastic bag filled with crushed ice on the injured area for 20 minutes at a time.
- Reduce the use of the injured area for a few days.
- To decrease swelling, use pillows to keep the injured body part elevated above the level of the heart.
- If not contraindicated, have your child taken ibuprofen every 6 to 8 hours after the injury to help stop pain and prevent swelling.
- If your child may be suffering from a fracture or dislocation of a joint, prolonged swelling, or prolonged or severe pain, see an orthopedic specialist.
BE SAFE AND HAVE FUN!