The kids are home: Their first stop -- grab a sweetened drink from the
fridge. It's one of several bad habits that have built a nation of overweight
kids. When it comes to their health, children and sweetened beverages are
simply a bad match.
Liquid candy -- that's what public health officials call these drinks. Most
boys get 15 teaspoons of refined sugar daily, and most girls about 10 teaspoons
-- all from sweetened beverages. That's the most sugar kids should be getting
from all foods in...
How can you help your child get ready for a sport or activity?
Schedule a sports physical to make sure that your child has no health problems. If your child has an illness or a problem with his or her lungs, heart, vision, hearing, strength, or movement, the doctor will tell you how your child can manage the problem and still be active.
If you think that your child needs strengthening or conditioning to avoid injury, ask your doctor for exercises or to recommend a physical therapist.
Learn about the common risks of your child's sport or activity. Then work with your child to prepare and protect against injuries.
How can an active child avoid common injuries?
Most sport-related injuries are from impact, overuse, or poor body mechanics.
To reduce your active child's risk of injury, you can:
Always use the right safety gear. Learn about the proper fit of that gear. Replace it as your child grows.
Make sure that your child learns proper form and technique from a class, coach, or athletic trainer. If possible, help your child build skill and strength before the sports season starts.
Teach your child to take pain and tiredness seriously and not ignore or "play through" it.
Avoid high-risk activities
Some activities are so high-risk that child health experts warn strongly against them. These include boxing, trampoline use, and driving or riding on motorized bikes and vehicles.
What safety gear does your child need?
Safety gear helps protect your child. Before your child starts a new activity, get the right safety gear and teach your child how to use it.
Just as important is the example you set for your child. Always use safety gear for your own activities, such as a helmet for bike riding.
Depending on the sport or activity, your child may need some of these items:
Helmets help protect against concussion (traumatic brain injury). Use a helmet for any activity that can cause a fall or an impact to the neck or head, such as bike riding, football, baseball, ATV riding, skateboarding, skiing, inline skating, or horseback riding.
Mouth guards help prevent mouth and dental injuries. Use a mouth guard for sports such as basketball, football, wrestling, horseback riding, rugby, martial arts, gymnastics, baseball, ice or field hockey, soccer, and lacrosse.
Eye protection can be prescription or nonprescription. You can use polycarbonate lenses, or try goggles or a face shield.
Padding includes football and hockey pads, shin guards for soccer, and sliding shorts for baseball and softball. For boys, an athletic supporter and cup is often recommended.
Braces include wrist guards for snow boarding and inline skating, ankle braces for volleyball, and knee-savers for baseball and softball catchers.