How to Keep Your Kids Healthy During Sports Season

Does your family enjoy participating in sports as much as they like watching them? For many families, fall means weekends spent field side as kids participate in soccer, football, lacrosse, or other organized sports. Sports offer numerous benefits for kids, but it’s important to know how to keep your child healthy on the field.

How can you keep your kids safe as they head into fall sports? Here, a checklist to help you lower your kids’ risk of a sports-related injury — and stay healthy and safe all season long.

Sports-minded kids dream of meeting their favorite sports heroes…

Serena Williams, Michael Jordan, or Peyton Manning to name a few. And don’t forget the heroes of the Winter Olympics, including skating legends like Kristi Yamaguchi, Paul Wiley, and Nancy Kerrigan.

Drink water
Especially during hot weather, kids need to stay hydrated. In fact, they’re even more vulnerable to dehydration than adults, experts at note. Dress your child in light, breathable clothes, and take water breaks every 20 minutes. Be aware of the signs of dehydration, such as muscle cramps, weakness, dilated pupils, nausea, confusion, pale skin, and headache.

Pack a snack
Offer your kids a healthy snack before practice and during or after practice. This will keep up energy levels and help them avoid blood sugar swings that can happen mid-afternoon. Try orange slices, nuts, apple sauce, raisins, or healthy granola bars — all are easy to pack and eat on the go.

Warm-up and cool-down
Show your child how to warm-up and cool-down during exercise and sports. Warm-ups and cool-downs protect muscles from soreness or injury by stretching tight muscles and preventing a buildup of lactic acid.

Weekend games are probably a highlight of your family’s fall activities, but don’t let injuries sideline the fun. A few simple precautions can help keep your child safe and happy all season long.