One minute you’re watching your kid at basketball practice and the next it feels like your world is crashing down. It happens in slow motion yet in an instant at the same time. Your child collapses on the court and your entire world starts to warble. That absolute terror is why I am sharing these tips to keep your child safe during summer sports.
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Last Monday was the scariest night of my entire life. The rest of the day was like any other. Kids begging for more tablet time, the youngest throwing a fit about nap time, and me trying to juggle it all and get work done.
Then I took my oldest to basketball practice while the little ones stayed home with Papa. Everything was normal. We sang and danced in the car to our favorite songs.
While we waited for practice to start, we played with his basketball on the sides. He was laughing and happy. I felt downright blissful in the moment.
Practice started and they began running drills as I sat by the court. About 15 minutes into practice, he began walking towards the goal. He suddenly seemed like he was stumbling and the next thing I know, he is collapsing onto the floor.
It seems to take forever for me to get to him as I sprint across the court. I kneel down next to him and he is sheet white and clammy. He is complaining of a stomach ache and there are other moms there worried that he hit his head. My heart has stopped.
Soon, the paramedics are there and we are loading him onto a stretcher to take him to Children’s Hospital. He looked so small and so scared as they strapped him to it and I have never felt so helpless in my life.
I never want another mom to feel like I did that night. Words cannot express the sheer terror that stops your heart in those moments. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to keep your child safe during summer sports.
Hydration is Key
It is easy for kids to get caught up in the fun of practice and games. They are so busy having a good time that they forget to hydrate. The same goes for the time outside of sports. It is incredibly important to make sure your child stays hydrated.
If they can’t remember to take a water break, then you have to remind them. If you notice it becoming a problem, cut out any drinks that aren’t water on game and practice days. This will ensure that when they are quenching their thirst it is with something that is actually replenishing them.
In addition to staying hydrated, make sure your child is eating regular meals and snacks. If your schedule is packed to the brim, load up on healthy snacks to keep energy levels up. Some ideas include:
- Baby Carrots
- Kids Protein Bars
- Trail Mix
Check Your Gear
Another important tip to keep your child safe during summer sports is proper gear. Be sure to regularly check that helmets and mouth guards still fit properly and are not damaged. The same goes for any pads or equipment your child uses on a regular basis.
Also, talk with your child as they put gear on. Does everything feel normal? Does it fit as it has in the past? Your child will know if something feels off so don’t hesitate to ask.
This can easily get overlooked for outdoor sports but always make sure your child has sunscreen on. Sun poisoning is no joke and even with gear on, kids are exposed. I recommend a heavy sport one that will protect your child for the entire game. You don’t want sweat removing it during play.
Thankfully, my son is okay. There are no issues with his heart (thank goodness) and they believe his fainting was brought on by dehydration. Right now we have to keep an eye on him and make sure he is drinking 4+ bottles of water each day.
With these tips to keep your child safe during summer sports, you can avoid going through that breath-taking terror that I did. To help you keep track, grab this printable checklist. It keeps you organized so you can keep your kids safe.
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