When sports season arrives it is important to take precautionary measures to protect our little athletes. More than 30 million kids in the USA under 14 participate in organized sports.
Some of the most popular outdoor sports are swimming, soccer, baseball, t-ball, and softball. Some times as early as preschool children start non-competitive sports.
Getting your children involved in a team sport provides the foundations for cooperation, allows for meaningful mentorship, and teaches them about the 3 famous P’s: practice, patience and persistence.
Soccer The USA Soccer Foundation and Major League Soccer together with the Environment Protection Agency’s program Sun-Wise have committed to long-term efforts to promote sun safety for athletes. More needs to be done at the local level where smaller leagues from pre-competitive all the way to high school need to promote simple sun-safety steps. They should limit practice to later in the afternoon when the sun is not as strong and take precautionary measures on hot days over 100 degrees by postponing a game or practice. Of course, they should also always encourage children to wear a hat or a natural sunscreen and lip balm.
Baseball, T-ball and Softball These sports have a great advantage, a hat requirement. Although the neck area is left exposed, at least most of the face is protected. Another great advantage of these sports is the type of jersey most often worn during games. These are made of polyester, a fabric that offers better sun-protection than regular cotton. The same simple safety tips as we mentioned in the soccer section do apply for these sports, during both practice and games.
Swimming Appropriate clothing should be worn by athletes. A swim shirt makes a great addition to the typical attire. Nowadays you can find comfortable, snug-fit types of swim shirts. Be sure to couple it with a natural sunscreen. You can even buy one of the high-tech swimsuits such as the one Michael Phelps wears during his competitions. Children can be part of a swim team or just swim for the pleasure of swimming!
At what age is recommended for children to start a team sport? According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, (AAP) “Children under the age of 7 and 8 have not fully developed their hand-eye coordination so their exercise should be on flat surfaces, with few directions, and should not require a lot of complex maneuvers.” If you do decide to sign your 5-year-old up for a team, be sure to choose a league that emphasizes fun and basic skills.
Talk to your children and ask them if they don’t feel comfortable playing in a team. Solo sports can be a great alternative.
At Ami Sol we want to encourage children to get involved in the great outdoors and what a better way than playing a sport that they would enjoy or learn to love and be passionate about. Embrace the sun safely with your children.
This can be a wonderful opportunity to teach your children to play safely in the sun, whether they are on a team or otherwise. A few of the most popular solo sports are:
Tennis, Golf, Surfing
Tennis is a wonderful sport that greatly develops hand-eye coordination skills. Children can play with one to three people and be able to practice on their own. Create good habits by practicing either early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the sun is not that strong and encourage your children to wear a good visor and to apply a natural sunscreen.
Golf has a great advantage, a hat is essential to hit that hole in one! It increases visibility while playing, and nowadays there is a variety of high tech golf wear desired for children and intended to protect them from the sun. However, even a good polyester long sleeve shirt will do the trick. Golf is a great sport to learn about discipline, concentration and patience.
Surfing has influenced the fashion market through the surfing shirts and rash guards. However, spending those long hours under the sun and being wet all the time can be extremely dangerous. Luckily, some surfing suits have been desired so that they are both tight yet flexible, such that they protect the skin without impairing the surfer’s abilities. It’s a great addition to this super fun sport.
Did you know that 75% of children drop out of sports by age 13? To pick the right sport for your children, first make sure they are at an appropriate age to start a sport. Then sign them up one sport at a time. Give your children some time to adjust and encourage them to not give up right away. Taking your child’s personality into consideration, help them decide what will be the best fit. Most importantly, make sure they enjoy playing it. Communicate with their teachers and coaches. It’s a great way to get their feedback as to whether a team sport or a solo sport will be appropriate for your child.