In the course of our children’s sport pursuit, there may be moments when we have to deal with them being exposed to the risk of related strains or injuries.
What's more, it doesn't just stop here as there could be more risks than we are inclined to think. Possible risks include:
In contact sports such as basketball, hockey, rugby and soccer - just to name a few, it is inevitable that the risk of over-exertion and injury is higher. Common injuries include muscle strains, ankle sprains and fractures - which happens when bones, joints, muscles or tendons are subjected to and excessive amount of pressure.
Take note of:
- restriction of movement
- acute or sudden sharp pain
Engaging in sport, both indoor and outdoor, in a climate like Singapore’s, there should be no surprise that our kids are subject to conditions such as dehydration, heat stroke and other heat-related ailments.
Take note of:
- excessive perspiration
- rapid heartbeat for an extended period of time
- sensitive skin (redness, dryness)
- unusually high body temperature
Yes, this is also a very likely sport-related risk. Our children can be subject to a competitive environment, such as when they need to compete to get into sport teams, or when they are pitted against other teams and want to win, or when they need to handle losing games.
Take note of:
- loss of sleep
- sudden changes in mood
- extensive periods of mood or anxiety
Helping Your Kids Deal with Change and Stress
Now that we have an idea of potential risks for our children, how do we then prevent or minimise them?
1. Prepare your child well
This does not only apply to having the right equipment and gear and knowhow of proper and safe use, it also involves communicating with our kid to mentally prepare them on what to expect, take note of, perhaps some ground rules to keep them safe while having the best fun they can have.
Many sport academies and clubs have trial sessions for children new to the activities. This is a great way for your children to have a feel of whether they like it and can get the hang of it, in a safe and fun environment
2. Ensure they spend time on warming up and cooling down.
They may get all hyped up and want to join their friends immediately, but remind them to warm up their bodies prior to play, and not to neglect time to cool down.
3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
Regardless of whether it’s an indoor or outdoor sport, remember to have your child bring along enough water or make sure they know where is the nearest water dispenser. Make sure they drink some before, during and after playing.
4. Feed them right.
The right diet is an essential booster for your child to perform well in various aspects of their life, including keeping them in the best form for sport.
5. Include time for rest and recovery.
Sufficient rest is critical for our children’s growth and development. Particularly so if they are actively involved in sport, for both mental and physical recuperation.
6. Be the role model for your children.
Make time to accompany – or even better, play sport with – your children. By being there and supporting or playing with them, you can lead by example and demonstrate how you will engage in sport in a safe yet fun way. Take the opportunity to also correct their behaviour which may be a hazard.
If despite the best care and precautions, your child suffers some strain or injury, do consult a doctor, ideally one who knows sport and how to handle sport injury.