National Youth Sports Safety Month is observed in April to bring much-needed awareness to sports injuries and physical trauma encumbered upon the youths. Intending to promote safety at the playground, the observation promotes the collective measures that the parents, coaches, and kids on the playfield can take to ensure safe outdoor engagements every day. It is the initiative of Massachusetts native Rita Glassman, who sought inspiration from her injured daughter to dedicate a month to propagate the merits of ensuring children’s safety on the playing field and beyond.
History of National Youth Sports Safety Month
National Youth Sports Safety Month is observed in April. Sports should be a part of every kid’s life. Although its importance cannot be understated, most parents and coaches fail to acknowledge the strenuous toll that sports can take on a child. More than a million kids are rushed to the emergency room for sports-related injuries every year, and 90% of students admitted to suffering injuries while playing a sport. Most of these injuries can take a serious turn, and while no one can admit to being casual on the field, a majority of participants miss out on some serious precautions that can minimize injuries. Heat, exhaustion, over-enthusiasm, and strenuous activities are some of the reasons why students suffer serious injuries on the field.
Such was the fate of Michelle Glassman — a sophomore who suffered a severe back injury in the late 1990s after a stretched session at the tennis court. Consequently, the injury took a turn for the worse, and she had to give up her tennis career. Upset and shocked by the circumstances of her daughter, Rita Glassman founded the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation in 1989 to raise awareness about the widely ignored crisis of youth sports injuries in America. The National Youth Sports Safety Foundation believes that childhood injuries are mostly the fault of adults, although kids suffer the most. Injuries transcend beyond the physical realm and can manifest emotionally as well.
Since 2001, the non-profit observes the month of April as National Youth Sports Safety Month. Through the observance, the foundation organizes month-long education camps, seminars, and summits to educate the public regarding the importance of maintaining safety on the field. The month also encourages caregivers to instill sportsmanship and cooperation in the field.
National Youth Sports Safety Month timeline
New York City introduces a competitive championship through the Public Schools Athletic League.
Little League Baseball is established in Pennslyvania to organize local youth softball and baseball and softball leagues across the country.
The National Youth Sports Safety Foundation is formed by Rita Glassman to raise awareness about the prevention of youth sports injuries.
Glassman formally establishes the month of April as National Youth Sports Safety Month.
National Youth Sports Safety Month FAQs
What is RICE?
RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. It is basic first aid training in the event of a sports injury on the field.
What are the five Ps of child protection?
As per the 1995 Children’s Order, the five principles of child protection are prevention, partnership, paramountcy, partnership, and parental responsibility.
What is the most common sports-related injury in youths?
Strains and contusions are some of the most common sports-related injuries sustained by youth athletes, followed by knee and ankle sprains.
How to Observe National Youth Sports Safety Month
Educate the youth
The central aim of the observation is to educate the young participants and their guardians about the necessary prevention and safety precautions that must be taken by everyone on the field. As the academic year comes to a close and youth involvement in sports reaches an all-time high, the month of April is best suited to host educational seminars regarding the topic.
Send your kid to a summer camp
Summer camps are enriching experiences that teach us a lot and give us some of the most memorable experiences of childhood. National Youth Sports Safety Foundation partners with summer camps across the country and organizes educational summits about basic preventive measures to avoid sports injuries.
Stay active — great advice that goes a long way for people of all ages. There’s no better way to prevent injuries than to keep your body fit. By participating in year-round sports, exercises, and wellness routines, youths can build a healthy perspective on safety and minimize sports injuries.
5 Ways To Ensure Kids’ Safety On The Field
Build a hydration routine that includes drinking water before, during, and after playtime.
Stretch it out
Institute gentle stretching exercises like jogging and cardio before a big game.
Rest and relaxation
Ensure the prevalence of ‘days off in the playing routine, which allows the body to heal and rejuvenate.
Teach kids the basics of first aid such as the application of an adhesive bandage, C.P.R., and the ABCs of care.
Schedule physical exams to identify underlying issues that can hinder full participation.
Why National Youth Sports Safety Month is Important
Safety is important
The importance of paying attention to safety procedures cannot be understated. Be it on the field or in life, by following the safety protocols we protect not just ourselves but the people around us. Youth sports safety measures minimize the chances of injuries and equip us with the right tool to deal with them, should they occur despite our best efforts.
The future awaits
The overexcited and inconsequential behavior displayed on the field by the youth can destroy their life in the blink of an eye. Michelle Glassman learned this lesson the hard way when a severe back injury jeopardized her tennis career and closed several other doors in her life. The National Youth Sports Safety Month is observed to teach the youth the lesson that a fun backflip after a two-hour football match is not worth risking their safety.
Safety should be an important prerequisite for participating in sports. Recent studies have concluded that precaution is a powerful way of preventing real-life injury. Precautions should be taken by coaches, teachers, physical trainers, and the student athletes in the form of behavior, diligence, special training, and proper warm-ups before going into the field.
National Youth Sports Safety Month dates