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How to Help Your Little Athlete Accept Their Life Changing Injury

Sports are great for kids and adults, alike. They help kids develop healthy habits and have get regular exercise. Team sports can also be an awesome place for children to develop teamwork and social skills. While these are some of the great qualities of sports, however, there can be downsides to children’s sports. Unfortunately, sometimes kids can get injured during play. These injuries can be minor or life changing. According to several recent studies, several million American children play sports at least twice per week. While these injuries can be tragic, there are steps you can take to help your child deal with their injury in a healthy, positive manner.

Obviously, the biggest step you can take is prevention. Children’s sports injury prevention methods can differ from those for adults. Thus, prevention will always be the best remedy. In the case that an injury has already occurred, the first step should be to seek out a quality diagnosis. Not all doctor’s have equal ability, nor do they necessarily have a special emphasis on sports injury. Thus, it is critical to see a specialist. This ensures that your child gets a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Once a proper treatment plan is in place, make sure that you are your child treat it with diligent care. This will speed recovery. To help your kid stay motivated about the recovery process, consider implementing a reward system or calendar to track progress. This way, they can see how they are improving and healing, which is a great help when little ones get discouraged.

Life changing injuries, obviously, can be traumatic for anyone, let alone a young child. Thus, support is critically important. Parental support is paramount, as they are the primary caregivers. Besides the physical injury, your child has lost the ability to play a sport that was, presumably, incredibly important to them. In addition to this, they don’t know if they will be able to play it again, even when recovered. Oftentimes, the support for a kid in this scenario needs to extend further than home. A child’s teachers should be notified of the situation, for both physical and mental reasons. If the injury requires mobility help, they can ensure that your child is cared for and does not get hurt further playing with friends. Additionally, teachers can help alert you to behavioral changes that may occur. In the case of behavior change or sadness as the result of an injury, it may be wise to seek counselling. Sometimes, young children lack the ability to process their feelings in a clear way, leading them to feel pent up and frustrated. With an event such as a traumatic injury, they may feel unable to cope emotionally, thus making professional help a good way to care for your little athlete.

Finally, encourage your child to stay involved. Depending on the nature of the injury, this can take many different forms. If the injury is temporary, your child may still not feel like a part of the team. Encourage them to go to games and cheer for their teammates. You can also remind your child that just because they have a temporary injury, it doesn’t mean that they are off the team for good. In the case of more serious injuries, your kid may not be able to play for the rest of the season. Remind your child that they can play again next year and to focus on the long term. Even with injuries, there are still things that your kid can do to become a better athlete for the next season. Finally, if the doctor deems that your little one cannot play a game ever again, consider trying to find other activities that will fill that competitive need. Another sport with low or no impact may be viable, or a club. Sports can provide a social aspect as well as a physical one and it is important that your child doesn’t lose out on that.

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