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10 Tips for Healthy Participation in Fall Sports

We say it all the time: get some exercise! Go play outside! Fall sports give our kids a great opportunity to do just that, while developing social skills and learning values like teamwork, healthy competition, and discipline. In the spirit of raising healthy and balanced kids, preventing obesity and associated health issues, improving moods and behaviors, and having fun, we fully endorse fall sports.

Of course, participation carries some risk. Here are some safety tips:

  1. Make sure the coach and assistants know about any conditions your child has, such as asthma.
  2. There’s been wide coverage lately concerning concussions in tackle football. Many parents are opting for flag football as an alternative to avoid long-term health risks associated with tackle football.
  3. For any sport, football not least among them, make sure your child wears the proper protective equipment in the correct size.
  4. Before any athletic activity, kids need to warm up their muscles with appropriate exercises.
  5. After long periods of exercise, stretch and cool down.
  6. Be sure to take water breaks every 15-20 minutes.
  7. Watch for signs of exhaustion and pull kids to the sidelines if they need to rest.
  8. Set an example by practicing safety in your own health and fitness routine.
  9. If you aren’t comfortable with how the coach or instructor practices safety, voice your concerns. Advocate for your child and his or her teammates, even if it makes you the “uncool parent.” It’s okay to ask questions and make sure coaches prioritize safety.
  10. If you’re looking for leagues for your child to join, Raising Arizona Kids publishes a list of local sports programs. Dance studios around the valley attract girls, but they often offer discounts for boys. If you’re a foster parent (or a family member fostering a child in kinship care), you can receive grants for sports and other activities.

Posted in Blog on September 13th, 2017