It may not feel like spring outside just yet, but many spring sports team are getting ready to start practice – if they haven’t already! Our health expert and mom of three, Nurse Rose Melendez, RN, shares here advice to prepare your children for a safe, healthy season. She’s the head of the Emergency Department and Nursing Administration at Adventist HealthCare Washington Adventist Hospital

What should parents do before spring sports season begins?

Nurse Rose: It is important to think about taking these steps before your child’s  spring sports and activities begin.

  • Get a sports physical at your pediatrician – many athletic teams require one.
  • Do a helmet check to ensure bicycle and athletic helmets fit properly; check athletic helmets for the American Standards Testing Materials label.
  • Protect the teeth with mouth guards for contact sports.
  • Get the right gear – talk to your child’s coach to make sure you have the correct protective gear.

How can parents help prevent injury in their kids?

Nurse Rose: That’s a good question. Being active is healthy for your little ones, but serious injuries can occur if the proper safety precautions aren’t taken. Some common injuries include head injuries, broken bones, muscle sprains and strains

Help your kids avoid injury with these tips.

  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Avoid skipping meals
  • Stay hydrated before, during and after play
  • Tell kids to listen to their bodies and to stop and speak up if something hurts
  • Complete proper warm-up and cool-down with stretching
  • Always wear the proper protective gear

What should parents do if their child is injured?

Nurse Rose: If your child is injured, follow these steps.

  • Seek medical attention early
  • Depending on the injury, physical therapy may help your child make a more complete recovery and prevent re-injury
  • Transition back to play slowly to prevent recurrent injury

Remember – you know your child best. If you suspect your child has a sports injury, visit the emergency department or your pediatrician.

Do you or a love done need physical therapy following an injury? Adventist HealthCare Rehabilitation offers comprehensive inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation including physical therapy, treatment of orthopedic injuries and neurological conditions and much more.

Additional Health Tips from Rose

Find more family health tips online or tune into WGTS 91.9 FM every Wednesday at 7:40 a.m. to hear Rose live.