How do you choose a safe sport for your child?
There are many experts who will tell you how you can choose the safest sport for your child. This article by Dr. David Geier, an orthopedic surgeon and author of That’s Gotta Hurt: The Injuries That Changed Sports Forever directs parents to check out the Healthy Sports Index. This is the first-ever tool that assesses the benefits and risks of particular sports for kids. It looks at all aspects of the sport, not just the safety index.
Although I urge you to read Dr. Geier’s findings and check out the Healthy Sport Index, let me be clear. There really is no “safe” sport because unless you wrap your kids in bubble wrap, there is absolutely no way to guarantee that your kids will not get hurt. And this is not just in sports either.
Your children can be hurt playing in the backyard (my daughter broke her arm on the jungle gym), at a friend’s house (my daughter broke her ankle on a friend’s trampoline), riding a bike, skating (my daughter fractured her wrist rollerblading)–at any time, in any circumstance, your child could be injured. Playing youth sports is by no means the only culprit.
Your child may not always be able to play safe, but they CAN play smart so that injuries are less likely. Be sure your child is abiding by these safety rules:
- Wear protective gear, such as helmets, protective pads, and other gear.
- Warm up and cool down.
- Know the rules of the game.
- Watch out for others.
- Don’t play when you’re injured.
The Healthy Sports Index was created so that athletes, parents, and educators can make the most informed decisions about sports for their children.