Once the long days of summer arrive, kids will race to dust off their bikes, skateboards or hit the pools. But the California Athletic Trainers' Association (CATA), suggests parents consider these stay safe tips before sending their kids and teens out to play or participate in recreational sports:
Choose Age-Appropriate Activities: Determine which activities would be appropriate for your children based on their age, skill level, ability and interest.
Fuel Up: Feed kids whole grain, low-fat and nutritious foods that will keep their bodies going strong. Heat can decrease appetite, but it's important to eat regularly, especially fruits that contain water to avoid dehydration.
Beat the Heat: Depending on where you live, the long days of summer can be brutal. Kids avoid strenuous activity during the hottest part of the day from 10 AM to 3 PM and always drink plenty of water to stay well-hydrated before, during and after each activity.
Protect the Face: Apply sunscreen products to kids' faces and lips that contain an SPF of 30 or more to help avoid sunburn.
Warm Up First: Children's muscles should be warm before starting an activity. Berardini suggests a light aerobic activity for 1-2 minutes to avoid pulled muscles or joint injuries. Moderation is the key to avoiding injury.
Control Speed: Whether in a skateboard park or on a long bike ride, kids and teens should always be aware of others and control their speed. They may be "Going for the Gold," but kids should be smart when it comes to speed to avoid injury or a collision with others.
Know When to Stop: Kids and teens should be aware of their energy level and concentration during an activity. They could risk exhaustion, heat stroke or even an overuse injury as a result of repeated action.