It’s time to gear up for the school sports season. Your child wants to perform at their best, enjoying a strong, healthy body and contributing to the team. But they don’t want to be sidelined by injury. That’s no fun at all. If your child is over 12 years of age we have some great tips to prepare for the school sports season.
So, how can you prepare them for a great school sports season? What are some of the common injuries that might occur in school sports? And how do you aid recovery?
Recognise the benefits and risks of your sport
There are many benefits to participating in sport. It promotes:
- Cardiovascular fitness
- Healthy growth of bones and soft tissues
- Better coordination and balance
- Relaxation and better sleep
- Confidence, cooperation and leadership skills.
But, whether your child is into athletics or cricket, footie or netball, tennis or swimming, their chosen sport demands a lot from their growing body.
Your child might be running, jumping, pivoting, throwing and catching, hitting a ball or powering through against water resistance. Their muscles, ligaments and tendons are working hard putting them at risk of soft tissue injuries like sprains and strains.
Sprains and strains are the most common sports injuries in school. These acute injuries happen when the muscles, ligaments, or tendons are stretched too far or torn. Ankles, knees and wrists are particularly susceptible to strains and sprains.
Often, a particular sport will involve certain repetitive movements – like serving in tennis or shooting in netball. Your child will need to rely heavily on the muscles involved in those movements, putting them at risk of an overuse injury. There’s a reason several injuries are named for the sports that often trigger them, such as runner’s knee, tennis elbow and swimmer’s shoulder.
How to prevent sports injuries in school
Warm up well:
Encourage your child to try jogging, stretching or doing other light exercises to get their muscles and joints ready for a workout.
Ensure your child gets enough protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats to build muscle, boost energy and improve endurance.
Dehydration can lead to fatigue, headaches or other problems that reduce their performance.
Work on technique:
It’s easy to slip into less-than-ideal techniques like gripping the racquet too tight or running in a way that puts undue pressure on the knees. Get your child help from a coach if you think they need it.
Encourage your child to take a break between training sessions and matches. A good night’s sleep also helps to prevent recovery.
Wear the right gear:
Invest in the right shoes and protective gear for your child’s chosen sport.
Aiding recovery from school sports injuries
If your child experiences a strain or sprain during school sports, they should withdraw from the field and take time to assess the severity of the injury. You may need to take them to a doctor or a physiotherapist for advice.
Applying heat before or after exercise helps to:
- Increase blood flow and metabolic activity
- Ease stiffness
- Loosen muscles to avoid injury or pain.
If you're preparing for this season of school sport, make sure to pack a couple of our Deep Heat products in your child’s kit. We particularly recommend:
Thin and easy to apply, these adhesive heat patches activate from 60 seconds after opening as the product is air activated and provide up to 8 hours of targeted, soothing, temporary pain relief.
Do not use on children that are unable to remove the patch on their own.
Warning: All heat products have the potential to cause skin irritations, burns or blisters. Discontinue use if skin sensitivity occurs or the belt gets uncomfortably hot.
ALWAYS READ THE LABEL AND FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS FOR USE.
Hopefully, your child is now fully prepared for a great season. Enjoy watching the game!