Playing sports is an important part of the lives of our patients, contributing to children’s physical, emotional and social development, along with cultivating a teamwork and goal-oriented mindset. Our number one concern for your child is that throughout their involvement in sports, they are able to remain safe and free from injury or accidents.

We hope you and your child will take the necessary measures to ensure teeth protection as well as full-body protection and health! Whether your child enjoys running the court and shooting hoops, tackling the running back during the final minute of the last quarter in the football game, or serving-setting-spiking the volleyball for the winning point, we hope that these checklist items and reminders will ensure your child plays safely and has the most fun possible.

Hopefully, this checklist will help ensure you have everything you need when it’s time to go and you’re in a hurry!

  • AWARENESS: MY CHILDS HEALTH CONDITIONS – Thinking about your child’s health history or past injuries before their first practice will keep you prepared to control or manage any existing conditions (examples: asthma inhaler, allergy medicine, brace for a previous break or sprain). So be sure to pack an extra inhaler, knee brace or bug spray, just in case. We also recommend grabbing one of those small first aid kits and keeping it in their sports bag; this way, if they scrape a knee, you’ll be ready to bandage them up so they can get back to the game.
  • WATER BOTTLE – Staying hydrated is essential in replacing the water lost through sweating. It is also vital to prohibiting fainting and keeping your child from overheating or becoming exhausted! Hydration will keep them playing their greatest and safest! Gatorade or similar sports drinks are popular during sports season, but be sure to have your kiddo rinse with water or brush after consuming as the sugar can be really hard on their teeth.
  • HELMETS – Like most parents with little athletes know, helmets guard against concussions and other head injuries and should be worn for the majority of sports such as football, hockey, lacrosse, baseball, bike riding, and that is just naming a few. Selecting a helmet should be done carefully, ensuring a snug and proper fit, as well as making sure that the helmet meets safety standards according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). It is also important to note that different sports require different types and styles of helmets, so be sure to talk to your team coach and do your research on which helmet is the best fit for your kiddo.
  • FOOTWEAR – Almost every sport has a unique shoe that should be worn, so please make sure your child is wearing the appropriate footwear for their particular sport. Asking your team coach or finding a local company that specializes in children’s sports uniforms can be extremely helpful.
  • MOUTHGUARD– We recommend every child who plays a sport, whether they are just practicing or playing the real game, wear a mouthguard. Mouthguards help to prevent teeth from being knocked out, chipped or broken, and help redistribute forces from a blow to the head! We do not recommend that pediatric dental patients or those receiving orthodontic treatment use a boil and bite mouthguard because this can disrupt the eruption or movement of teeth. Our orthodontic department does have generic mouthguards available for your child.
  • A GOOD ATTITUDE– Last but not least! This is one thing we don’t want your child to forget as they are playing sports and engaging in athletic activities. It always helps the team when they are encouraged for their best efforts and reminded that it is about staying safe, having fun and getting better each time!As your trusted Pediatric Dentist and Children’s Orthodontist, we hope that you will encourage your child to play safely by using this pre-game checklist. If you have any questions or concerns about the mouthguard services here at myKIDSdds, please don’t hesitate to give us a call today!

Image Credit: Getty Images/ matimix