This post is sponsored by SPRTID, a player safety app that is concerned about safety in youth sports and that provides important medical information for coaches and teams to help them keep young players safe.
The conversation about safety in youth sports has certainly ramped up in recent months, but according to a survey by the non-profit group Safe Kids Worldwide, there is “an alarming gap” between what is known about sports safety and what is being done to reduce the risk of injury to young athletes.
In other words, there’s a lot of talk and not much action.
So what do we do to change that? It’s time for parents to stop assuming that everyone else is going to push for safety. Don’t leave it up to the coaches, school administrators, or league officials. Start being a voice of change yourself with these 11 steps. Maybe if you push hard enough, there will be less talking and more action!
- Ask that coaches, parents and athletes meet before the season to set ground rules on the team’s approach to prevent injuries. Do more than ask, demand it! Organize it yourself if you must.
- Request that athletes be taught ways to prevent injuries by using proper technique, strength training, warm-up exercises and stretching.
- Prevent overuse injuries by making your kids–and encouraging other athletes–to not just play one sports, but play other sports to get stronger and develop skills.
- Encourage your child and other athletes to speak up when they’re injured. Be sure that your child’s coach is removing injured athletes from play.
- If you are coaching, put an end to dirty play and rule-breaking.
- If you are an official, call fouls that could cause injuries.
- Be sure your child’s coaches are certified in CPR, AED use and injury prevention skills.
- Be sure your child’s health information is instantly accessible during an athletic competition. Check out SPRTID, the player safety app, which makes this important information instantly available should an athlete be injured.
- Be sure that your child’s school has an athletic health care team to prevent and manage injuries. The team should consist of a physician, athletic trainer, school nurse or other health care professional and the athletic director. A medical person should be at all athletic events.
- Spread the concern. Talk with other parents and coaches about the importance of youth sports safety and these steps that can be taken.
- Tale a written stand for safety. The National Council of Youth Sports encourages parents to take these actions a step further by getting even more involved. Write your elected representatives when you hear of a governmental issue affecting youth sports safety. Submit letters to the editor of your local paper to inform readers of the facts.
I talk a lot on this blog about how you can be a positive voice in youth sports, and part of that is speaking up for safety. When I see reports like this one of youth sports fatalities in 2015 released by the Youth Sports Safety Summit, I envision the parents and families of these young kids and wonder, could this have been prevented if youth sports safety was given a higher priority?
“We need to start the season talking about how we’re going to play safe, how we’re going to keep all of our kids in the game so that they all can play safe and strong,” says Kate Care, Safe Kids Worldwide president and CEO.
Will you start the conversation and then be the one to take action?
This post is sponsored by SPRTID, the player safety app that provides important medical information for coaches and teams to help them keep young players safe.