Play It Safe: Sports Activity Musts

You think your children are ready to play ball (or any other sport for that matter), but are they really properly prepared? When it comes to playing the field, it's a matter of safety first. Parents have an obligation to take all of the steps necessary to ensure that their children don't get injured while participating in sports.{relatedarticles}Prior to signing your child up for a sport, have your little one checked out by a pediatrician for a physical. Once you've gotten the green light, let the real fun begin. Before your child engages in play, equip her with the necessary protective gear. If your child is playing hockey, softball, baseball, football, biking, skateboarding or any other activity that poses a risk for head injuries, a helmet is a must. The helmet should be specifically designed for the specific sport your child is playing.
You may also consider investing in mouthguards, knee pads, a protective cup, shinguards, eyewear or athletic shoes. Consult with your child's coach and make sure she has everything she needs before stepping on to the field. Before games and practice, encourage your child to warm-up - whether it's alone or with the team.{relatedarticles} The body should be warm before she starts playing. This prevents injuries to the muscles and gets the blood flowing. If your child is complaining of any physical pain, do not let her participate in the sport. Don't ever encourage a young child to play through the pain. This can lead to more serious problems if you don't allow for an injury to heal.