Summer is coming to an end. Weather is becoming cooler. Alarms are waking earlier and kids are returning to school. The start of the school year also means fall sports are coming into full swing. With that in mind, I wanted to give you, the parents of these athletes, the top 5 things you can do to give your child a healthy and productive season.
- Adequate Water Intake – This means drink plenty of WATER. Fruit juice, soda pop, and sports drinks DO NOT hydrate your children (or you). These drinks are loaded with sugar and push even more water from their bodies.
- Adequate Food Intake – Your children need energy; especially when they are performing in sports. Make sure they eat a nutritious breakfast, full of protein, complex carbohydrates, fruits and veggies. Be sure they also continue this throughout the day. If they don’t put the fuel in their bodies to produce that energy, their tanks will be running on empty.
- At Least 8 Hours of Sleep – They also need rest. The hours of deep REM sleep is when our bodies heal themselves and allow growth. If they are not getting adequate sleep, they will be wearing themselves down and could be the start of possible injury soon down the road.
- New Injury? Get Them Check Out – If your child complains of any new pain or injury, get them checked out by a professional immediately. A small injury not treated and not allowed to heal correctly can lead to a longer more damaging injury later in the season or year.
- Concussions Should Not Be Taken Lightly – There is a reason you’ve heard about it in the news. When a person sustains a concussion, it means that their brain has slammed into the inside of the skull…which is NOT supposed to happen. It is the equivalent of your face hitting the windshield during an accident. If your child complains of any of the following symptoms, take them to a professional immediately: any loss of consciousness, memory problems, drowsiness, confusion, dizziness, double or blurred vision, headache, nausea or vomiting.
High school sports are becoming increasingly demanding with each passing year. Couple that with a demanding class load, and you have a child with a busy fall ahead. If your child does sustain an injury and you feel like the trainers or medical personnel are being inadequate in your child’s care, do not hesitate to get a second opinion. It is the responsibility of the parent to keep your child as healthy and happy as possible. Because, with a healthy, happy child comes a happy, less stressful parent.