A Clear Tradeoff
There are many positive benefits for children involved in sporting events. For one thing, they learn to work toward a goal. For another, they learn how it’s necessary to function as a team to achieve that goal. They learn discipline in the form of regular practice so certain aspects of the sports become ingrained at the subconscious level. This also involves exercise.
With sports like ice hockey, a new skill must be learned just to play the sport—you can’t play ice hockey if you can’t skate, and you can’t ice skate well enough to be a valuable team member unless you practice. Getting the balance right involves “growing” new muscles. You’ve got to have stronger ankles and leg muscles, and you get them through skating.
It may take a whole season for a young child to learn skating well enough they’re able to be a valuable part of the team; that’s one of many reasons it’s good to start children on hockey early if there’s an interest, or you want to see them get good by the time they’re teenagers. But hockey isn’t the only sport which requires those who play it to learn new skills.
Swimming is similar, and many swimming sports exist. Singular sports like biking or hiking, more appropriately athletic activities, also require new skills to be learned. But regardless of the athletic activity your young ones are getting involved with, increased physicality naturally expands the risk of injury. So there’s a clear tradeoff. But as a parent, how do you manage it?
Safeguarding Children And Preserving Positive Sporting Benefits
The benefits of sports events outweigh the potential hazards; but those hazards certainly can’t be ignored. Especially with a sport like ice hockey, between “checking”, the hardness of the ice, general clumsiness, fast-flying pucks, high tempers, and general clumsiness, it’s a greater surprise if young ones sustain no injury whatever, than if they get scuffed up a bit over the regular course of the season.
What makes sense is securing the trustworthy services of a local sports medicine physician. The thing about injuries is, their recovery may require a lot of time or a little; but there are definitely best practices. Sometimes your child will pull a muscle, or dislocate something. While they’re in definite pain, with a slight adjustment they can return to practice.
Other times, a given injury might be at a level where it’s going to take a few months for the young one to recover, and then there will be physical therapy to consider. For such situations, it makes sense to secure the services of a trusted orthopedic surgeon at Ocean County; or wherever you happen to be.
When you’ve got orthopedic or sports medicine options available prior to the start of the season, recovery happens quicker, you get the right medical attention sooner, and you can probably reduce associated costs in either surgery or therapy right off the bat. You’ll know what the doctors charge, and you’ve got time to shop around—if you prepare beforehand.
Your Child’s Sports Experience Benefits Through Preparation
So there’s a mild dichotomy to consider here. On the one hand, you want to provide your young ones the best possible opportunities as regards development. Athleticism, new skills, team building, socialization, long-term planning and preparation—sports provide such outcomes in a natural, organic way that’s fun for everyone. But injury potential exists.
You can diminish associated injury impact through acquisition of proper medical professionals from the outset. Doing things this way allows you to shop around for the best medical options, preserving your bank account by helping you avoid the emergency room when possible, while simultaneously setting your children up for success in sports.