A child paddleboarding on open water

A brief guide to injury prevention in children and teens


More and more children up and down the UK are competing in all manner of sports than ever before. This is certainly wonderful news as sports are there to help children and adolescents keep their bodies fit as well as assisting in general well-being and feeling good about themselves.

A child paddleboarding on open water

However, there are a number of essential elements to consider when it comes to injury prevention and we have some informative pointers that can help parents, guardians, children and teens themselves to enjoy safe sports experience while staying injury-free at the same time. Of course, there are times when an injury occurs, no matter how hard you try to prevent it, but there are ways of making a swifter recovery. For example, our Achilles tendinitis relief products are the ideal option to overcome a setback for injuries such as these. We also have other products to help improve recovery time, but if you follow the tips we have for you below, then your child should stay injury free for longer.

Injury Risks

It goes without saying that every sport carries an element of risk in terms of injury. As a general rule, the more contact there is in the chosen sport, the greater the risk of a significant injury. Saying this, the most common reason for children and teens to pick up an injury is a result of overuse.

Most frequent sports injuries are sprains (injuries to ligaments) strains (injuries to muscles), and stress fractures (injury to bone) which are as a result of an excessive or abnormal degree of stress is placed on tendons, joints, bones and muscles. For growing children, point tenderness over a bone should always be assessed by a specialist, regardless of the amount of swelling or reduction on movement.

In order to lessen the risk of injury, follow these seven top tips:

  1. Allow your child to factor in taking time off. Plan to have a minimum of one day off per week and at least one month off per year from training in a particular sport. This will give the body an acceptable timeframe to recover.

 

  1. Strengthen muscles using a number of conditioning exercises. Incorporate these into a program that will help your child strengthen the muscles that they are regularly engaging in their chosen sport.

 

  1. Look to increase flexibility by adding a number of stretching exercises into the regime post-exercise. Stretching should also be incorporated into a daily fitness plan as flexibility is a vital part of staying fit and injury free.

 

  1. If your child is participating in a sport, it is important that he or she is wearing the appropriate and correctly fitting protective equipment the sport requires. Your young athlete shouldn’t adopt an attitude that protective clothing/equipment will prevent all injuries while performing more dangerous or risky activities, but they will help offer a certain level of assistance.

 

  1. Allow for breaks, as rest periods during both training and games help to lessen the risk of injuries as well as preventing heat illness/dehydration.

 

  1. Continuing on from the previous point, it is imperative to avoid heat injury in sport for young athletes and adults. Ensure drinking plenty of fluids before, during and after exercise is observed to prevent the onset of exhaustion and dehydration.

 

  1. Last of all, quite simply, stop the activity if there is pain.

 

Sports-Related Emotional Stress

The pressures that are associated with the will to succeed and win can lead to significant emotional stress for children as they aren’t yet developed enough to handle the results of a loss or under achieving. While the numbers are reducing, there are sadly still many coaches and parents who consider winning the most important thing their child can do when enjoying their chosen sport. In the early stages, young athletes should be allowed to focus on effort, sportsmanship and hard work. As they develop mentally and physically a more competitive element can be applied, while being rewarded for trying hard and for improving their skills when younger is the bigger focus. Allow children to have fun and learn lifelong physical activity skills.

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