• Balancing competition and safety in kids’ sports

    Sports are an excellent way to teach kids about healthy competition, teamwork and sportsmanship. Children who play sports also enjoy the benefits of physical fitness. Despite these many advantages, there is always a risk of sports injuries . Taking some precautions can help your child stay safe on the playing field. But if an injury does occur, the MountainView Hospital emergency care team in Las Vegas is available 24/7 to help.

    Equip your child with sports safety gear

    Talk to your child’s coach or pediatrician about the protective equipment that is necessary for the sports activity. Your child might need any of the following safety items:

    • Helmet

    • Face shield

    • Knee and elbow pads

    • Wrist guards

    • Mouth guard

    • Protective cup for boys

    • Shin guards

    • Padded gloves

    • Protective eyewear

    Make sure that certain safety gear, such as helmets and eyewear, meet established safety standards. If you purchase secondhand safety gear, check it carefully for signs of damage or defects. Safety gear is most effective when it fits properly, which means you may need to replace some items as your child grows.

    Encourage the use of proper sports techniques

    Emergency care physicians often see young sports enthusiasts with injuries that could have been prevented by following the proper sports techniques. For example, children who land improperly from a jump may suffer ankle sprains. Encourage your child to practice the fundamentals of his or her chosen sport.

    Prevent heat-related illnesses in your child

    Severe heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and heatstroke, require emergency care. Remind your child to drink plenty of water before, during and after playing sports. Your child’s pediatrician might also recommend sports drinks, which contain electrolytes.

    If heat-related illnesses do occur, they can cause the following signs and symptoms:

    • Dizziness

    • Confusion

    • Lethargy

    • Painful muscle cramps

    • Nausea and vomiting

    • Delirium

    • Shortness of breath

    • Loss of consciousness

    Please call 911 without delay to request emergency care if your child displays serious symptoms.

    If your child does sustain a sports injury in the Las Vegas area, the emergency care team at MountainView Hospital can help him or her recover safely. Our hospital brings together highly skilled, compassionate providers who live and work in the same communities as our patients. A registered nurse is available at (702) 962-5021 to help you with your healthcare questions.