Engaging in sports is not only fun but also has a number of health benefits. However, playing sports can end up in you nursing a wound which anything but fun. Here are five safety precautions that players are advised to adhere to in order to have a safe playing experience.
Wear protective gear
Protective gear is a must-have when engaging in all form of sports. An example of protective gear is the helmet which is used in many forms of sports including biking, rugby, baseball, skating, and football. Head injuries have been known to cost the lives of seasoned professional athletes and they are among the most numerously-occurring injury in most sports.
Other examples of protective gear include mouthguards (which protect the player’s teeth), cleats (which protect the chin area of the player’s legs), knee guards, and gloves (to protect the player’s knuckles and fingers).
Follow the rules
Rules and laws are the barriers that prevent people from harming each other and they exist in all facets of life, sports included. It is, therefore, necessary to be well-versed with the rules of your preferred sport. Knowledge of all the rules translates into fewer injuries, as players know what not to do, and what to expect from opposing teams.
Most games have officials or referees who also help identify any misbehavior in a match, and it is helpful to abide by their instructions.
Remember to hydrate
Partaking in any sport often results in sweating and the general increase in body temperature. Dehydration can have severe consequences if not addressed immediately. It is therefore essential to keep hydrated when playing sports.
Athletes are advised to carry water bottles with them when engaging in sports and should drink the water 30 minutes before any game starts. Some sports require coaches to come up with mandatory water breaks so that the players can rehydrate.
First warm-up and stretch before playing
Engaging in warm-up activities before starting a game can seem cliché but it is of great importance. Taking 10-minute jogs can be sufficient as a warm-up activity. However, you should not immerse yourself in the game immediately after you are through with the warm-up.
The next important step should be stretching of muscles. Stretching helps in releasing any muscle tension that might have built up during the warm-up activity, and avoiding muscle cramps during the actual sport.
Don’t play while injured
Finally, it is important not to play while nursing an injury despite the temptation of jumping back into action. An experienced doctor should help a player know whether he or she is healed and ready to continue playing.
Precautionary measures for kids
Parents whose kids play sports are advised to have their kids go through a PPE; acronym for Pre-participation Physical Exam. This test is necessary to ascertain if the child has any unknown conditions such as allergies or asthma, which would translate in the child receiving specialized attention before, when, and after he or she participates in a particular sport.
Parents are also advised to ensure that only a qualified and experienced physician conducts the test. Coaches are supposed to be informed of any worrying results from the test to take precautionary measures when engaging the child in sports. It is also crucial for parents to leave their contact information with the coach for rapid communication in case of emergencies.