Keep your kids active and injury-free during National Youth Sports Week from July 16 to July 22 and throughout the rest of summer. The benefits of youth sports and exercise outweigh the risk of injury. Physical activity in kids helps to reduce the risk of obesity and diabetes, improve social skills, and increase team-building skills.
It’s often difficult for parents to keep their kids active during the summer months when school sports are in off-season. To counterbalance this, consider these following tips to keep kids moving.
Team sports aren’t enough: Even if your child participates in a summer sport, they may not be getting the recommended amount of daily exercise. It’s suggested that kids get about 60 minutes of exercise every day and in a team-practice setting, their movement is often limited. Try taking a family walk after practice to increase the time spent moving.
Keep it fun: don’t get too caught up in the rules of a game. Though learning the rules an important part of development, being too rigid discourages kids from wanting to get better. As long as they are moving, jumping, and having fun, they are improving their health and athletic ability.
Make a play date: Many of us fondly recall the days when we would run around the neighborhood from sun-up to sun-down and come home worn out from a good day of play. Encouraging your child to go outside and play with neighborhood friends is a great way to engage in all-day activity.
Engage in warm-ups and cool-downs: allowing time for the body to adjust to activity is a great way to prevent injury. By tacking on a few minutes before and after your child’s activity regime, you may reduce the risk of damage.
Hydration is key: make sure that kids always have access to water or sports drinks and are consuming them frequently throughout the day to avoid dehydration.
Take it slow: gradually increase your child’s activity time during to avoid burn out. It’s important that your child becomes accustomed to the increase in activity level to avoid going full-throttle too soon.
If your child does develop an injury, always get the attention of a medical professional right away and in the interim try rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE). Be prepared ahead of time and learn more about training and prevention today.