With their high levels of energy, endless curiosity, and remarkable ability to bounce back from stumbles and falls, children often put themselves at risk of injury. This can be especially true when they’re exploring the great outdoors. Learn how to keep your child safe while they’re:
- playing sports
- spending time near water
- spending time outdoors
Whether played as a team or alone, sports are a great activity for kids. Playing sports can help them:
- get outdoors
- make new friends
- exercise regularly
- develop new skills
learn how to work on a team
But organized sports do come with the risk of physical injury. To lower your child’s risk of getting hurt, teach them basic, sport-specific safety strategies, and share these general guidelines:
- Always wear the proper gear, such as supportive footwear, a helmet designed for the sport you’re playing, and protective eyewear if necessary.
- Learn the rules of the game, and don’t push yourself to play above your skill level.
- Play on a well-kept court or field, and check for hazards before starting.
- Warm up before playing to avoid sprains or strains, and cool down when you’re done.
- Report injuries right away, because staying on the court or field when you’re hurt can worsen an existing injury.
Bicycle riding offers children a sense of freedom and mobility like little else, but it also comes with the risk of falls and collisions. Teach your kids how to stay as safe as possible while cycling. First and foremost, they should wear a bike helmet that fits properly. Teach them how to adjust the straps and pads to keep it snug; a poorly adjusted helmet will do little to protect your child’s head during a fall. It’s important to ensure that your child has mastered basic bike-handling skills before they venture into areas where they’ll be sharing the road with cars, given the threat that automobiles pose to cyclists.
- It’s also important to teach your child the rules of the road. These rules include:
- riding in the same direction as cars
- stopping and obeying traffic signals
- watching closely for cars that are turning, leaving driveways, or opening doors
- not riding on sidewalks
Teach them that bicycling can be lots of fun, but it’s important to pay attention. Horsing around or getting distracted while riding can lead to serious accidents. Riding at nighttime is also risky.