How can you make sure your teen is staying safe on the field?
It's a tricky conversation. You don't want to discourage your teen from participating in a sport, connecting with peers, or learning something new. You also want to keep them safe from the potential risks of injury. Here's how to approach that dichotomy.
Qualified coaching. Having coaches who are well qualified in the chosen sport can make a huge difference in how students train safely and effectively. Ensuring that a sports team has the right coaching staff to properly train athletes and spot injury risks before they occur is very important. This is also something you, as a parent, can discuss with your school.
Safe technique and execution. Having the right technique isn't just about kicking or throwing the ball faster and farther. It's about knowing how to execute moves in such a way that's healthy for the body. A great coach can spot the difference, too.
Adequate gear. Protective gear may not always be glamorous, but it's essential nonetheless. In practice, as well as in games, make sure your child is equipped with the appropriate safety gear—at all times—and start asking questions if they aren't.
Opioid exposure. The use of opioid pain relievers is on the rise, particularly among youth athletes in contact sports. You may not have taken them to the doctor recently for an injury, but that doesn't mean they aren't getting exposed to these pain-relieving drugs. Actively initiate conversations with your teen about the uses and risks of prescription opioids.
Stay aware and facilitate open dialogue. There's nothing more helpful to managing the risks of a teen in contacts sports than maintaining an open and honest conversation with them.
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