Thursday, March 17, 2011

Keep the fun in kids' sports

The National Athletic Trainers Assn has some guidelines for sports parents.

First, be sure the child wants to play sports—many drop out by age 13. If the child has been injured, especially, be sure it’s OK to resume.

Get the kid a checkup. Ask who will provide care at the school, review credentials.

Acclimate children to heat. Here in Arizona, adults need a few weeks to get used to the heat. And most of us are not raging around playing a game. Acclimating means lots of water and short sessions outdoors at first.

Make sure the school has a medical auth for in case or emergency.

Be sure the equipment—and that includes medical equipment such as spine boards, splints, things that require batteries, etc—are in working order.

Make sure coaches are credentialed and knowledgeable.

Make sure the locker room is clean. Discourage sharing of towels and equipment—tell your own kid! No, No, No... We are not talking head lice--we are talking MRSA.

Build recovery time into the child’s schedule. Many kids these days play around the calendar. Even ask a trainer how much time the player needs to get ready for the next sport.

Oh—and don’t be a screaming idiot embarrassing your kid to death. Actually, put that one first.

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