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Sports Safety - Identifying High-Risk Situations

Sports can be played in an organized setting, at school, in the street, or even in the backyard. A child can benefit from participating in sports both emotionally and physically. However, proper precautions need to be taken when children take part in a sport, because children’s bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments are still growing and their coordination may not be fully developed. Precautions can range from wearing proper safety gear to appropriate adult supervision and enforcement of game rules. To ensure that your child is participating safely in sports, be aware of the following high-risk situations:

A special note about sports-related stress:

The pressure to win when participating in sports, a poor relationship with a coach, or frustration about never getting to play in games can affect a child negatively. Signs that your child may be suffering from stress related to a sport may include the following:

Deciding whether to withdraw a child from a sport should be based on what the child says and what the parent observes. Quitting may or may not benefit your child. On the other hand, "sticking it out" may also be detrimental to your child. Winning should not be placed above learning and playing the sports. To avoid sports-related stress, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends the following:

Reviewed by: Gina Duchossois
Date: May 2013

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