P ARENTOWN’S K ID S HAPE April Is Youth Sports Safety Month. Have Fun! Be Safe! The month of April has been proclaimed National Youth Sports Safety Month. The national health event was initiated by the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation, Inc., in 1993 to promote safety in sports participation. More than 60 national medical and sports organizations support National Youth Sports Safety Month. They include the American College of Sports Medicine, The President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and The United States Olympic Committee. The Stats on Sports Injuries • Sports participation has become a major cause of serious injury among youth. • Sports activities are the second most frequent cause of injury for both male and female adolescents. • Each year it is estimated that more than ﬁve million children seek treatment in hospital emergency rooms because of sports injuries. • The American Academy of Ophthalmology has launched a campaign for mandatory protective eyewear for children participating in school-related or community-sponsored athletic events. Eye injuries are the leading cause of blindness in children, and sports are the major cause of eye injuries in school-age children. • As many as one-third of in-line skating emergency-room-treated injuries could be prevented or lessened in severity by the use of protective equipment. • Less than 10% of the two and a half million volunteer coaches and less than one-third of the interscholastic coaches in the United States have had any type of coaching education. • Forty thousand knees are injured due to sports participation each year in the United States. In addition, 50% of these injuries have some lasting residual effect which impacts the quality of life. • Most sports injuries are preventable. Tips for Parents • Don’t force your child to participate in sports. • Remember that children participate to have fun and that the game is for youth, not adults. Show good sportsmanship from the sidelines!
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• Inform the coach of any physical disability or ailment that may affect the safety of your child or of others. • Learn the rules of the game and the policies of the league. • Be a positive role model for your child and encourage sportsmanship by showing respect and courtesy and by demonstrating positive support for all players, coaches, ofﬁcials and spectators at every game, practice or other sporting event. • Teach your child to play by the rules and to resolve conﬂicts without resorting to hostility or violence. • Demand that your child treat other players, coaches, ofﬁcials and spectators with respect regardless of race, creed, color, sex or ability. • Teach your child that doing one’s best is more important than winning so that the child will never feel defeated by the outcome of a game or his/her performance. Emphasize skill development and practices and how they beneﬁt the child. Praise him or her for competing fairly and trying hard. Tips for Kids • The most important thing is to Have Fun! • Remember, youth sports are only a game designed for your enjoyment. Play to please yourself and have a good time. • Learning how to play the game is more important than winning and losing. • Some children grow faster than others, and some have better coordination earlier than others. Everyone catches up eventually. Be patient. • Who you are as a person does not depend on your wins and losses. • Treat other athletes and your coaches with respect. Everyone is trying his or her hardest. • Honor the rules of the game. • Be a good sport. • Support your teammates. Sources: National Youth Sports Safety Foundation, Inc., www.nyssf.org; Sport Parent Code of Conduct, Massachusetts Governor’s Committee on Physical Fitness and Sports.
Published on Apr 1, 2009
Published on Apr 1, 2009
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