It’s summertime! That means plenty of fun outside playing basketball, tennis, hiking and other summer sports. With higher temps comes a higher risk of injury when playing outdoor sports.
This year I established a goal for Lively Kitchens to partner with like-minded professionals that are experts in their field, strive to provide superior customer service and are compassionate about their clients.
One such client is Diamond Physical Therapy in Algonquin, IL. Chuck and Sue (owners) not only provide quality care for their clients, they reach out to local businesses and support community health. In this post, Diamond Physical Therapy provides recommendations to insure your summer stays cool when you follow these sports safety tips:
Check out your child’s playground
- Each year, emergency departments treat more than 200,000 children ages 14 and younger for playground-related injuries. Look for adequate surfacing under equipment and loose or broken screws on the equipment itself.
- Keep toddlers under age 5 in a separate play area, fenced off from equipment designed for bigger kids.
- Actively supervise children on playgrounds.
Enjoy the water and keep an eye on children at all times
- Wearing a life jacket can save your life. There are life jackets available for any type of water activity; you don’t have to use the bulky orange ones, get something stylish!
- Use safety gates or define perimeters to keep children from wandering off and getting into serious trouble, especially around backyard swimming pools. Pools should always have fences all the way around them.
- Get training in basic water rescue skills, first aid, and CPR. Learn to swim and teach your children to swim.
Prepare Kids for the Demands of Playing a Sport
Before playing organized sports, make sure your child receives a pre-participation physical exam, or PPE, performed by a doctor, a nurse practitioner or qualified clinician under the supervision of a physician. Whoever performs the exam, the same practices should be followed, including the need for a medical history.
Always warm up and cool down
Before you head out for a summer sporting activity, make sure that your muscles are primed for play by doing a few minutes of stretches. Also, a few minutes of cool down activities once you’re done will help combat pain and stiffness.
Remember to Hydrate
- Learn the signs and symptoms of dehydration and other forms of heat illness.
- Send athletes to practice and games with a water bottle and encourage them to stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water before, during and after play.
- Encourage athletes to drink fluids 30 minutes before activity begins and every 15-20 minutes during activity.
- If you’re a coach, establish mandatory water breaks throughout practice and games – don’t wait for your athletes to tell you they’re thirsty.
Make Rest a Priority
To help avoid overuse injury, athletes should take breaks during practices and games. Encourage athletes to tell coaches, parents or another adult about any pain, injury, or illness they may have during or after any practices or games. Athletes should take at least one or two days off each week from any particular sport.
Wear Appropriate Sports Gear
Use appropriate and properly-fitted sports gear to prevent or reduce the severity of injuries. Make sure athletes use the correct equipment in order to participate in both practices and games. This may include helmets, shin guards, mouth guards, ankle braces, shoes with rubber cleats and sunscreen.
Wear a helmet or use the proper protective equipment
A helmet is the single most effective way to prevent head injury from a bicycle crash. Make sure you always wear a properly fitted helmet. A proper fit means the helmet is not too wide or loose and doesn’t tip backwards exposing the forehead.
Don’t ignore signs of physical distress
- Headaches, fatigue, muscle cramps and nausea are all signs of heat exhaustion, a condition caused by not cooling the body enough in hot conditions. If you feel these symptoms coming on, be sure to take a break, move to a cooler location and drink some water.
- Ignoring signs of heat exhaustion can cause heat stroke, a potentially life-threatening condition.
Don’t play in dangerous weather-conditions
Avoid playing in thunder and lightning or other forms of severe weather. Strong winds, rain torrents and lightning strikes can make for hazardous conditions, which can lead to serious injury or death.
Don’t Take Chances with the Brain: Know the Signs and Symptoms of Concussions
- Learn the signs and symptoms of a concussion. This information is important for coaches, parents and athletes. An athlete with a suspected concussion must be removed from play until evaluated and cleared by a medical professional.
- A good rule of thumb: when in doubt, sit them out.
This post has been created by Diamond Physical Therapy in Algonquin, IL
Recipes for Consideration:
Frozen Mixed Fruit Popsicle (found in the Beverage section)
Farmers’ Market Potato Salad (found in the Salads & Greens section)
Black Bean Mango Salsa (found in the Appetizer section)
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