6 Safety Tips for Kids’ Summer Sports
We all want our kids to get outside, stay active, and soak up some vitamin D, and summer vacation offers plenty of opportunities for boys and girls to join baseball or softball teams, play tennis, swim, ride bikes, and more. But there are always safety issues to remember whenever children play summer sports in the sweltering heat. Check out the tips below and keep your family safe this summer.
Make sure a medical professional gives your child a pre-participation physical exam before he or she begins any sport.
Apply and reapply sunscreen.
There’s nothing like a harsh sunburn to ruin a perfectly good day. Cover your children in sunscreen (preferably SPF 30 or greater) and remember to reach the odd places, like the backs of their necks and ears and the parts of their hair. Then, reapply frequently to keep a fresh layer of protection on their skin.
Warm up before practices and games.
Help your sons or daughters avoid injuries. Make sure they jog or perform some light activity for 10 minutes and then stretch all major muscle groups before they play.
Drink lots of water.
Give your little athletes bottles of cold water and tell them to drink 30 minutes before their games and every 15-20 minutes while they play. You also need to learn the signs of dehydration and heat illnesses so you can recognize emergencies when they occur.
Avoid intense activity in the middle of the day.
You might have to talk to coaches about this one, but make sure your kids aren’t participating in practices or games during the mid-day heat. Instead, plan these activities for the morning or late afternoon, when temperatures are less dangerous.
Encourage children to take breaks during any activity—especially when they’re feeling sick or overheated or if they’re in pain.