Which Arizona Youth Sports Are the Safest for Children?
Youth sports are a great way to teach children important life skills and principles, as well as getting plenty of sunshine and exercise. What many parents don’t realize, however, is the risk of personal injuries that can come with many different sports. Every year in the U.S., 3.5 million children under the age of 14 suffer injuries while playing sports. In fact, about one-third of all childhood injuries relate to sports. When choosing the youth sport for your child to participate in, consider safety as a factor. Here are some of the safest sports for kids in Arizona, according to the statistics.
Some sports are more dangerous for players than others. Tackle football and rugby, for example, are two high-contact sports that can expose children to high risks of collision injuries such as sprains, strains, and concussions. Contact and recreational sports are one of the most common causes of head and brain injuries according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A brain injury at a young age could impact the brain’s development and cause serious issues and delays that affect the child’s long-term health.
If you’re worried about your child suffering a head injury in a contact sport, opt for something such as volleyball, tennis, or swimming instead. Keep in mind that even non-contact sports that involve high-speed objects, such as baseball, hockey, or even golf, could cause head and brain injuries. Always having your child wear a helmet, even during sports practices, can help reduce the risk of serious head injuries in contact and ball sports.
It might relieve parents in Arizona to know that in recent years, many organizations have worked to make youth tackle football safer. Find out if the organization and the coach have methods in place to reduce the risk of concussions and other physical injuries. Having players wear full gear even during practices, for example, and not just for games, is a good way to help reduce the risk of injuries.
Sports That Background-Check Coaches
Parents not only have to worry about child injuries from sports equipment and impacts with other players, but also from the criminal actions of coaches, fellow parents, and supervisors. A recent local example is the former Tempe diving coach, Cody Max Montgomery, whom police arrested for possession of child pornography. An investigation found 226 artifacts depicting child pornography on Montgomery’s computer. Prior to his arrest, Montgomery served as a diving coach for the Sun Devil Divers.
The best way to keep your child safe from this type of harm during youth sports is to go with a team or organization that conducts thorough background checks on all of its coaches and other adults who will work with or around the children. Screening standards can differ greatly from team to team. Before signing your child up, ask whether or not the team conducts background checks. A mandatory program such as Athlete Protection Training is an even stricter way of preventing child sexual exploitation in youth sports.
Coaches Who Limit Sprain and Strain Injuries
The most common child sports-related injuries by far are sprains and strains. Many of these injuries stem from children performing repetitive motions too often or without proper warm-ups and stretching. Coaches that overwork children can cause sprain and strain injuries. Children should not exercise or play sports when they feel tired or if they have pain in any part of their body. Wearing the proper gear and footwear can also help reduce strain injuries.
The safest sport for your child certainly has to do with the type of sport, but the most important aspect is often how the school, organization, and coach run the sports program. Coaches should never push children too hard, especially during sweltering Arizona summers. Sign your child up for a sports program that cares about the health and safety of its players.
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