As a parent, your biggest fear is probably that your child would be injured while playing hockey. While the risk of injury is real in youth hockey, that doesn’t mean that you should pull your child out of a sport he or she loves. Instead, it just means that you need to be all the more cautious when it comes to keeping your little hockey player safe on the ice.
Make the Doctor Your Friend
To begin with, your child should visit a doctor for a complete physical before he or she even tries out or signs up for the local hockey team. Most good teams will flat-out require a physical to be
Don’t just ditch the doctor after your child’s physical though. Instead, make sure your child visits the doctor at least twice a year for routine checkups. The doctor can ensure that hockey isn’t causing too many physical issues for your little one and that he or she remains in good overall health. Also make sure you see a doctor anytime your child complains of aches or pains or suffers even the most minor injury during gameplay or practice.
Invest in a Great Helmet
It should go without saying that your child needs to be wearing every piece of safety equipment ever invented for young hockey players when he or she is on the ice. However, no other piece of safety equipment is more important than your child’s helmet. Invest in the best possible helmet money can buy. Ideally, you want one that’s been certified by the Hockey Equipment Certification Council and that features a chin cup and a face mask that covers the entire face. Also make sure that the helmet fits snugly on your child’s head.
Warm Up Every Time
You also want to make sure that your child is warming up before every single game and practice. Children’s muscles need to be limber and ready to move before hockey can be played safely and to the child’s maximum ability. Not only do you need to make sure your child warms up properly, but you also want to ensure that your child’s coach understands the importance of warming up and enforces thorough warm-ups before each game, exercise session, or practice.
If you can keep these simple tips in mind, you’ll feel better knowing that your child is a whole lot safer while enjoying the rough and tumble game of hockey.